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A Narrative Account of Its Historical Progress, Its 
People, and Its Principal Interests. 

Compiled under the Editorial Supervision of 


Assisted by a Board of Advisory Editors 








Every student of history knows that Interior America is the Greater 
America, and just as long as the Coming United States was crowded 
l)etween the Eastern mountains and the Atlantic Ocean it was bound in 
Colonial chains. To the romantic, ambitious spirit of the Frenchman, 
whether he be cavalier or priest, is due the planting of the seed which 
has bloomed into a nation. He opened the gates to the Mississippi with 
all its tributary valleys; and it was the fiery genius of Napoleon which 
finally passed into our keeping that vast Louisiana beyond the Mississippi, 
which lured us even beyond to the Pacific. 

It is by thus getting a perspective that one may weigh the relative 
importance of any locality as a necessary feature of the broad, historic 
landscape over which the events of the world have marched and which 
the student may calmly review as from an eminence ; he is blind, except 
with the prophetic eye, as to what lies before him. 

Those who know Columbia County, and have studied its relation to 
the development of the great heart of the United States, are proud of the 
part which Providence assigned to it in the making of the Nation. In 
the very center of the greatest of the four waterways, whose easy 
portages separated the vast basins of the Great Lakes from the broad 
valleys of the Mississippi system, the grand figures of Marquette and 
Joliet, the French fur-trader and voyageur, the really noble red man, 
the merchandiser of all nations, the soldier, the American statesman and 
finally the well-molded citizen of today's Republic — in a word, this 
United States in the entire making — has been largely filtered through the 
County of Columbia. Although there have been some who would have 
had our home county kno\vn as Portage, rather than that other goodly 
section of Central Wisconsin, it is better as it is, since we are really 
entitled to the name and the fame. 

Ever considering Columbia County from this large relationship, we 
have taken a deep satisfaction in gathering and presenting the details 
of its founding and growth; and although there are other counties in 
far more wealthy and populous, there is none whose soil has 


grown anything more picturesque and vital along the lines of history 
than our own Columbia. 

It has been no small task to do justice to the subject, and the super- 
vising editor would have faltered, if not fallen in the work, had he not 
been so warmly and ably assisted by his advisorj' staff, who pi'oved such 
fine workers as well as good advisors. Those gentlemen are Professor 
W. G. Clough, of Portage; James R. Hastie, of Poynette; "William C. 
Leitsch, of Columbus; M. J. Rowlands, of Cambria; James E. Jones, of 
Kilbourn; J. M. Bushnell, of Wyocena, and Herbert Palmer, of Lodi. 
Although not on our regular advisory board, no citizen of the county has 
been more helpful and interested in the work than Chester W. Smith. 
county superintendent of schools. Nor must we forget to fully acknowl- 
edge the services of Mrs. W. G. Clough, the Portage city librarian, and 
]Mrs. J. E. Jones, of Portage. It may be that these are our largest 
debtors, but all to whom application for information has been made have 
been so willing to assist to the extent of their ability that we simply 
"thank you one and all." 

There never was a book published in which there were not flaws, and 
in preparing the history of a locality in the making of which the author 
has been more or less concerned, a special effort has been made to avoid 
any personal leaning toward or from individuals, institutions or subjects 
in general. All the editors and contributors identified with this work 
have honestly endeavoi'ed to write history without bias or animus, and 
trust that its readers will give them credit for their good intentions, even 
though such readers imagine that they can sometimes ' ' read between the 
lines." It is certain that nothing so complete has been published for 
thirty-five years; and probably within the next four decades Columbia 
County will make enough good, readable history for a whole library. 
They who compile this library may do their work better than we, liut 
certainly with no more conscience. 




Wisconsin's Boldest Feature — Natural Route of Indians and 
French Discoverers — Protection of the Portage Necessary to 
Settlement — The Wisconsin Riv-eb and the Dells — The "How" 
of the Dells — The Bababoo Bluffs — Through the "Grand Eddy" 
ON a Raft — The Great Prairie Belt of Limestone — The Water 
Courses of Columbia County — Prairies, Marshes and Timber 
Land — Building Stone — Dairying and Agriculture 1 



Mound Builders Keep to the' Water Courses — Mounds of the Kil- 
BOURN Region — First Tidings of Columbia County Indians — The 
Winnebagoes and Menominees — Last of the Indian Lands — ^Win- 
nebago Villages — De Korra, the Noble Chief — Indian Payment 
of 1830 — JIrs. Kedzie Describes the Chiefs — Yellow Thunder, 
Last Winnebago War Chief — Personal Recollections of Yellow 
Thunder (Mrs. Lydia A. Flanders) — Last Forced March of the 
Winnebagoes — The Payment of 1914 17 



Nicolet and Columbia County — Where Was the Mascouten Vil- 
lage? — Joliet and Marquette Pass the Portage — Memorial at 
THE Place of Crossing — Hennepin at the Portage — LaSalle and 
Jonathan Carver — Visits of United States Soldiers — Traders 
AND Carriers 33 




The Winnebago Uprising — The Pursuit of Red Bird — Voluntary 
Surrender op the Chief— The Magnificent Red Bird — Begs Not 
TO BE Put in Irons — Red Bird Gives Away His Life — De Korra 
AS Red Bird's Hostage — Fort Winnebago and "A Party Named 
Astor" — The Coming of Major Twiggs — Ground Broken for 
the Fort — Completed — Amusements at the Post — Noted Men 
AND Women at the Fort — Lieutenant and Mrs. Van Cleve — 
Henry Merrell — Evacuated — Final Dissolution 4:2 



Peter Pauquette — Death of the Famous Trader — Shot by Man- 
ze-mon-e-ka — Inflamed by Liquor and False Charges — The 
Remains of Pauquette Finally Ijocated — The Coming of 
Henry Merrell — Fort Winnebago in 18?.4 — Commandants and 
Indian Agents — The De Korras and Joseph Crelie — Post 
Amusements — Business Trips Under Difficulties — Merrell 's 
Account of the Famous 1837 Treat.y — Trips More or Less Excit- 
ing — Merrell in Politics — Satterlee Clark's Perilous Journey 
— Black Hawk Threatens Fort Winnebago — Clark Sent for 
Reinforcements — On Return Overtakes Mounted ]\Iilitia — 
Fatal Stampede of Troopers' Horses — "Battle" of the Wis- 
consin — End of the Black Hawk War — De La Ronde Makes 
the Portage in 1828 — The Noted Indian Family, De-kau-ry 
(De Korra) — De La Ronde Becomes a Caledonia Farmer — • 
Indian Removal of 1840 — Grignon, or French Claim No. 21 — 
L'Ecuyer's Gra-\'e— The Post Cemetery — ^Wisconsinapolis and 
Others Like It 58 



First Sales op Columbia County Lands — The Land Districts — Me- 
nominee Indian Lands Surveyed — List of First Land Entries — 
Wallace Rowan, First Real Settler — Mrs. Rowan from "In- 


dianer" — The Rowan Inn — Judge Doty Objects to the Hours — 
Last op the Rowans — The English Colonies op Potters — Arrive 
IN the Town op Scott — Other Trades Recognized — Pottersville 
— Twigg's Landing — Disbandment op the Society — Inhabitants 
OP County (1846) 1,200 — Columbia County on Early Maps. . . .79 



The Miutary Road — In Columbia County — Territorial and Other 
Highways — Preliminary Survey op the Fox and Wisconsin 
Rivers — The Old Portage Canal — The Canal in 1851 — -New 
Canal Completed by the Government — Boscobel Really 
Through — Control op Floods by Levee Systems — Cost and His- 
tory OP Great Public Work — First Dyke Gives Way — Lewiston 
Levee Rebuilt — Another Levee to Protect Caledonia and 
Portage — Floods op the Wisconsin River — La Crosse & Mil- 
waukee Railroad — Reaches Points in Columbia County — ■ 
Development op the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul — 
Chicago & Northwestern — Wisconsin Central Commenced at 
Portage — Completion of Line (1871) — The M., St. Paul & 
S. Ste. Marie 89 



Old Portage County— First Casting op Ballots — Columbia Set Opf 
FROM Portage County — First Annual Election — James T. Lewis 
Insists on Columbia — The County Officers — Sheriffs — Clerks 
OF Circuit Court — District Attorneys — County Clerks — County 
Treasurers — Registers op Deeds — Coroners — County Surveyors 
— Boards of County Commissioners — Chairmen op County Board 
op Supervisors — County Seat Fights — Temporary County Build- 
ings — First Steps Toward Permanent Courthouse — The Court- 
house Completed — County Jail and Sheriff's Residence — Home 
for County Insane and Poor — The Circuit Court — Probate and 
County Court 103 




Household Population (1846) — Population in 1847 — Figures by 
Decades (1850-1910) — Re.u> Estate and Personal Property (1875) 
— Agricultural Interests — Conditions Thirty Years Ago — Con- 
ditions OF THE Present — A Splendid Dairy County — Creameries 
IN Columbia County — Cheese Factories — Li\-e Stock — County 
Agricultural Society — Fish Fair and Secretary's Report — Co- 
lumbia County Fair Assoclvtion — Curling in Columbia 
County 119 



First Columbia County Newspaper — Suspension of the River 
Times — John A. Brown and the Badger State — "Shanghai" 
Chandler and the Independent — Robert B. Wentworth and 
the Portage City Record — Enter A. J. Turner — Wisconsin 
State Register Founded — Brannan & Turner — The Register 
from 1885 to Date — A. J. Turner and Major Lockwood — First 
Columbus Newspaper — Wisconsin Mirror Precedes Kilbourn 
City — The Columbus Democrat — The Columbus Republican — 
First German Newspaper, Der Wecker — Rundshau und 
Wecker — Launching of the Portage Democrat — James E. 
Jones — Lodi's Ups and Downs — The Enterprise — The Poynette 
Press — Pardeeville Times and Badger Blade (Rio) — Kilbourn 's 
Newspaper Ventures — Wyocena Advance — Other County News- 
papers — Defunct Papers 133 



First School Outside the Fort — First School District Formed at 
Cambria — Too Few Cubic Feet Per Scholar— School Children in 
1913 — Legal Qualification op Te.vchers — Columbia County 
Teachers' Association — Columbia County Teachers' Training 
School — Private and Parochial Schools of Portage — Columbus 


Collegiate Institute — The Kilbourn Institute — Eev. B. G. Riley 
AND LoDi — Poynette Presbyterian Academy — Present Status op 
Public Schools — Pioneer Trainers of the Soul — Father Maz- 

RING Methodist Preacher — The ]METnODiSTS of Fall River — Lodi 
Methodists Organize — Mr. Townsend on the Lowa'ille Sabbath 
School — The Presbyterians at the Portage — Cambria as a 
Church Center — Presbyterian Church of Kilbourn — The Nor- 
wegian Lutherans Organize — Early Churches in the Town- 
ships 149 



Jefferson Davis — Edwin V. Sumner — Other Noted Officers op Fort 
Winnebago — The Portage Light Guard — Company G, Second Wis- 
consin Volunteer Infantry — First Wisconsin Regiment to Enter 
the Service — Record of the Second Wisconsin — Company D, 
Fourth Regiment — General Bailey and Major Pierce — General 
Bailey and the Red River Dam — Companies A and B, Seventh 
Regiment — Company H, Eleventh Regiment — Company D, Nine- 
teenth Regiment — Companies C, 6 and H, Twenty-third Regi- 
ment — General and Judge J. J. Guppey — Record of the Twenty- 
third — Companies A and E, Twenty-ninth Regiment — Company 
K, Thirty-second Regiment — Last Infantry Companies — Cavalry 
AND Artillery — The Drafts in the County — Guppey Guard op 
Portage — Competitive Drills — Captains and Armories — Company 
F, Third Regiment, W. N. G. — Company F in Spanish-American 
War — The New Armory 167 



First White Woman at the Portage — The Settlement Grows — The 
Canal Booms Things — Platting the Town of Fort Winnebago — 
The Guppey Plat — Incorporation as a City — Increase of Popula- 
tion — The Present City — Chicago & Wisconsin Valley Railroad 
— The Fine City Hall — Free Public Library of Portage (Mrs. J. 
E. Jones) — The City Water Works — Electric Light and Tower — 


Commission Form of Government Adopted— Protection Against 
Fire— Wisconsin River Bridges— Final Dissolution of $119,000— 
Nomenclature of Portage Streets (A. J. Turner)— Experiments 
IN Banking — City Bank of Portage — First National Bank- 
Portage Loan and Trust Company— The Eulberg Brewing Com- 
pany — Epstein Brothers' BRE^^'ERY — The Portage Hosiery Com- 
pany — Ll. Breese 184 



High School and Graded System Established — History op the Por- 
tage High School — The Study op German — Present School 
Buildings — City Superintendent Clough — List of Superintend- 
ents AND Clerks — Early Catholic Missionaries — Founding of St. 
Mary 's Parish — Pastors of St. Mary 's — School Building Erected 
— The First Presbyterian Church op Portage — First Methodist 
Church — St. John's Episcopal Church — First Baptist Church — 
St. John's Evangelical Lutheran — Other Portage Churches — 
The Masons Form Pioneer Lodge — Chapter, Council and Com- 


Lodge — D. A. R., op Portage — Knights op Columbus and Foresters 
— Lodges op Railroad Employees — Portage Liederkranz — The 
National Verband — Countri Club of Portage — The Y. ]\I. 
C. A 20G 



First Settler — Wayne B. Dyer Describes the Village — Drake Suc- 
ceeds DicKASON — First Lawyer and First Doctor Office Together 
— James T. Lewis — Postmaster Whitney and "Old Hyson" — Lud- 
iNGTON Plat and Addition — First Hotel, Store and School — Mill 
Property Passes to J. S. ]Manning — Columbus Becomes a Village 
—Incorporated as a City — City Departments and Activities — 
Electric Light and Waterworks— Fire Department — Free 
Public Library — The School System — History op the Schools — 
Present Graded System Established — William C. Leitsch — Con- 
greg.\tional Church op Columbus — German Lutheran Church — 


German Methodists — English Methodists — The Catholic Church 
— Leading Lodges — First Columbus Banks — First National Bank 
— Farmers and Merchants Union Bank — Early Brewers — The 
Kurth Company — Columbus Canning Company 227 



The Village op the Present — Wisconsin River Hydraulic Com- 
pany Fathers Kilbourn — Editor Holly Arrives — Village Plat 
Recorded — Sales of Lots — Schools op Kilbourn City — P. G. 
Stroud and Jonathan Bowman — Village Incorporated — Water 
Service and Fire Protection — The Free Public Library — Im- 
provement OP Southern Wisconsin Power Company — First 
Steamboats at the Dells — Banks at Kilbourn — The Presby- 
terian Church — The Methodists — St. Cecelia (Catholic) 
Church — Other Religious Bodies 250 



The Beginnings op Lodi — I. H. Palmer and the Bartholomews — 
Rev. Henry Maynard — The Suckers Settlement Becomes 
Famous — Settlers op 1846 — First M. D. and D. D. — Other Phy- 
sicians — South vs. North, Before the War — I. H. Palmer 
Founds Lodi — Progress op Local Schools — Village Charter — 
Water Service and Electric Lighting — The Methodist Church — 
The Baptist Church — Lodi Lodges — Business Houses — Banks op 
Lodi — Herbert Palmer, Son of Lodi's Founder 266 



Pardeeville Founded — Yates Ashley — John Pardee, Father of 
John S., Proprietor — The Old Mill Up to Date — Protection 
Against Fire — Pardeeville State Bank — Incorporated as a Vil- 
lage—Graded School System— Pardeeville 's Churches — Masons 
and Odd Fellows 276 




Origin of the Name Doubtful — Rio Platted by N. B. Dunlap — First 
Merchant and Postmaster — Pioneer Business and Professional 
Men — Village Incorporated — Schools — Banks — People 's Tele- 
phone Company — The Congregational Church — The Baptist 
Church — Lutheran and Catholic Churches 281 



The Langdons Found Cambria — Arrival of First Welsh Colony — 
Seeking a Location on Foot — Decide on Welsh Prairie — Fifty- 
three Colonists "At Home" — Only Three Left in 1912 — Lang- 
don's Mill Becomes Bellville — Bellville Changed to Cambria — 
The Schools — Welsh Organize a Musical Union — Dr. Williams, 
Patron op Literature — Revival op the Ancient Eisteddfod — Post 
office Established — Industries and Banks — Welsh Calvanistic 
M. E. Church — The English Presbyterian Church — Evangeli- 
.cal Lutheran Zion's Congregation — Morris J. Rowlands .... 286 



Village of Today — Its Naming, a Mistake — Judge Doty Intended 
"Pauquette" — Village Platted — Poynette in 1855 — First 
School — Crusty Bachelors Withhold Tax — First Preaching — 
The Times that Tried Men and Women — The Jamieson Family — 
Poynette as a Flour Center — Rivalry of the "Sides" — The 
Grain Trade — Bank of Poynette — School History — The 
Churche.s — The Methodists Organize — Rev. John M. Springer, 
War Hero — The Presbyterian Church — The Lutherans and 
Catholics 299 



Hugh Jamieson's Youth in Scotland — Booked for America — The 
Route to Columbia County — Arrives at the Site op Poynette — 
Prices and Taxes in the '40s — Teaming Over Southern Wiscon- 
sin — The Railroads — Commences to Improve Land in 1850 — 
Prairie Fires — Breaking Up the Land — Pioneer Plow for Heavy 
Work — First Land Entered in the County — Gets Curious about 
Miss Thomas — Married by Squire Curtis — The Thomas Family — 
Union School and Church — Rowan Was Not First Settler — 
Purchases a Hotel — First Village Plat op Poynette — School 
District op 1852 — An Important Year — Why the Hotel Paid 
Well — Buys ]\Iorb Land — Railroad from Madison to Portage — 
A Boom for Poynette — Completes New and Larger Hotel — Rail- 
road Work Ceases — Yet Local Improvements Progress — Admitted 
to Citizenship — Plats Jamieson's Addition — Rivalry op North 
AND South Sides — ^War Times in the County — Securing Volun- 
teers for the Union — Railroad Projects (1861-62) — Labor and 
Crops in War Times — Chairman of the Board Again — Railroad 
Work Resumed — Sugar River Valley Railroad Sold — Improve- 
ment OP South Poynette — Fall of Richmond Celebrated — 
Decline of War Prices — Local Improvements after the War — 
Health Failing — Sixteen Years a Hotel Keeper — Again De- 
feated BY Mr. Turner — Formation op the Madison & Portage 
Railroad — Town Votes Aid to the Road — The Meeting at ]\Iadi- 
soN — "Old Beeswax" and George B. Smith — "Jack of Clubs" 
Sustained — General Store for Railroad Men — Transfer op Town 
Bonds for Railroad Stock — Bond Question Traced to the End— 
"Old Beeswax" Got There — Establishes Grain Business — 
Cheese Factory Established — Business Passes to Jamieson 
(H. P.) & Gault (W. O— Farm Machinery and Supplies— 
Justly Proud op His Homestead— Retrospect in 1883 — His Re- 
ligious Creed — Good Family Stock — Mr. Jamieson's Death 306 

Pounded by Major Elbert Dickason— Naming op Wyocena — High 
Grade op Early Settlers— First Store— Messrs. Dey and Dicka- 
son — The Dairy Industries— Picnic Held on Historic Ground — 
Sketch of J. M. Bushnell 358 




Drainage and Land Surface — Chester Bushnell, First Settler- 
Dyer, Bro%vn and Sage Locate— The JVLiGNiFicENT McCafferty — 
First Land Entries — School and Church on Section 23 — Town 
Government in Running Order — Reminiscences op James C. Carr 
(By His Daughter. Mrs. Gertrude C. Fuller) — First Birth and 
First Death — Farming Under Difficulties — An Opinionated 
Applicant — Public Service of Carr and Adams — Story He Told 
ON Brother Sage — Benjamin Sage, the Victim — Village of Fall, 
River — A. A. Brayton, First Settler — Postoffice in 1847 — The 
Village Schools — Methodist and Baptist Churches — Early Times 
in Village and Town 365 



Present Village of Doylestown — Wayne B. Dyer Was First Settler 
— Village of Otsego — Land Owners of the Present Doylestown 
— Town of Otsego Organized — Plat of Doylestown Recorded — 
First Improvements — A Boom — Columbus Too Swift — Schools 
AND Churches 374 



Leader in Agriculture — Clark M. Young, First Townsman — Evolu- 
tion op Arlington Township — First Schools — Pioneers of Re- 
ligion — The First op the Village — Important 1871 — Brisk, 
Pleasant Village of Arlington 377 



A Pretty, Hk<vlthful Town — George M. and Marston C. Bartholo- 
mew — Rev. Henry Maynard and Wife — A Hunt for "Milwaukee 
Woods" — Organization of the Town — Matured Pupil Writes of 
First School — Village of Okee — Expected Lake — Historic 
Items 380 




Rowan Settles and Opens Hotel — Paper Seats op Justice — Village 
OF De Korea — First Grist Mill in South-Central Wisconsin — 
Railroad Go-By a Death Blow — The Spelling of De Korra ( ?) — 
Railroad Station op Hartman 385 



Rich and Beautiful Prairie Land — The Irish Pioneer — "Chestnut," 
Says Pat — Other Arrivals of 1844-45 — Horace Rust— Pioneek 
Happenings — Becomes Courtland Township — Randolph (West 
Ward) 388 



Bad Conditions for Big Cities — Champion Townsite Man — Balti- 
more City — Wisconsinapolis — Canal to Stir the Portage People 
— Easterner Looking for Wisconsinapolis — First Settlers Come 
to Town — The Village op Newport — Joseph Bailey and Jonathan 
Bowman, Backers — In 1855 Contained 1,500 People — Making All 
Safe and Sound — The Slip and Fall — Founders Move to Kilbouen 
— Never More Than Port ' ' Hope ' ' — Wisconsin City 392 



The Town of Columbus — First Settlement — Town Organized — 
Birdsey a "Live Wire" — Wyocena Township — Good Water- 
powers — First Wheat and Corn Raised — Settlers op 1845-46 — 
Town Organized— U. S. Regulars Rout Claim Agent — Grist 
iliLL below Wyocena 399 



Caledoxia, the Largest Town — Drainage and Surface Fe:VTures — 
Farm and Timber Lands — First Farmers op the County^First 
Permament Settler — "Daddy" Robinson and John Pate — Scotch- 
men Name Town, Caledonia — Daughter op Pauquette Lh-ing in 
Town — Town op Leeds — Chief op the Forage Towns — First Land 
Claims and Settlers — Leeds Center — Organization op Town — 
PosTOFPicES — First Norwegian Church. ... ' 403 



"Old Daddy" Robertson's Fair — The Settings — Everything and 
Everybody Turned Loose — No Other Like Fair of 1861 — Last Day 
OF De Korra Home Guard— Big Billy Wood Gets Even — Live 
Stock Exhibits — Can We Beat These 1 — No ]\Iore Daddy 's Fairs — 
A Mystery Still — Kentucky City — Its One Building — The Poor 
Man's Court — Dixon's First Case — Honor to the Western 
Pioneer — Land Speculators Crowd Out Settlers — Village of 
De Korra at its Best — In the IIelting Pot 400 



First Settlers in Marcellon — Others Who Came in 1846 — Several 
First Events — Name op ^Marcellon Without Meaning — Town of 
Fort Winntebago — Count Agosten Haraszthy — Makes Wisconsin 
His Home — Locates in Sauk County — Off for California — Prom- 
inent IN the Golden State — Death in Nicaragua — Portrait 
Brought to Portage — First Permanent Settlers of Town — How 
the Town Came to Be 420 



Good Fruit and Dairy Country — First Settler in Scott — M. W. Pat- 
ton and Others — Famous Blue Tavern — Named After Winfield 
Scott -125 




Jacob Low, First Settler of Lowville — First Marriage, Birth and 
Death — First Postofpice and Mail Route — The Hotel — First 
Teacher and Preacher — Coming op the Townsend Family — Rem- 
iniscences op a. J. Townsend — Town of Springvale — Adapted 
TO Cattle Raising — Springy ale's First Settler — High-Priced 
Religion — The Welsh Settlers — Organized Under Present 
Name 427 



First House-Builder in West Point — Changes in Name — Schools 
— Only One Hotel Venture — Town of Hampden — First Settlers 
— Town Organized and Named — First School — Introduction of 
Fine Stock 433 



Newport Town and Village Founded — First Settlers — Randolph 
Township — Leads in Agriculture — George Knowles, First 
Settler — Coming op the Langdon Brothers — Alden and Converse 
— The First Welsh to Arrive — First Schools and Teachers — 
Squire Patton and His "High Court" — Villages at a Discount 
But Politics, Brisk Enough 438 


A Dairy Herd in Columbia County 
(view), 126 

A Frencli Fur Trader and Carrier (por- 
trait), 3 

"A party named Astor," 49 

Ackerman, Eoxelana, 319 

Adams, John Q., 104, 105, 115. 116, 155, 
156, 241, 368, 582 

Adams, Louie, 241 

Adams, M., 245 

Ades, John E., 496 

Agriculture, 16; Conditions thirty years 
ago, 124; Conditions of the present, 
125; a splendid dairy county, 126; 
cheese factories, 127; creameries in 
Columbia county, 127; fairs, 128-132; 
live stock, 128; County Agriculture 
Society, 128; first fair and secretary's 
report, 128; other fairs, 130; Colum- 
bia County Fair Association, 131; in 
early times (Jamieson), 314; pioneer 
plow for heavy work, 315; Town of 
Arlington, 377 ; farm and timber lands, 
404; first farmers of the county, 404; 
chief of the forage towns, 407 

Albee, Hiram, 680 

Albee, William C, 680 

Albright, John L., 245 

Alden, Alvin B., 441 

Alexander, J. S., 279 

Alverson, C. L., 201 

Alverson, Miles T., 575 

Amusements at the post, 52 

Anacker, William, 603 

Anacker, William E., 711 

Anderson, John, 251 

apJones, John, 290, 294 

Archer, W., 218 

Arlington Township — Town of Arlingtoir, 
377; leader in agriculture, 377; Clark 
M. Young, first townsman, 377; evo- 
lution of Arlington township, 378; 
first schools, 378; pioneers of religion, 

Arlington State Bank, 379 

Arlington Village, 379 

Armory, Wabash City, 182, 183 

Armstrong, Thomas, 310 

Armstrong, William, 194 
Arnt, Hamilton, 64 
Ashley, E. E., 207 
Ashley, Yates, 276 

Bachman, I. B., 214 

"Badger Blade," 147 

"Badger State," 134, 143 

Bailey, Joseph, 176, 251, 395, 438 

Bailey, C4en. Joseph (portrait), 172 

Bain, George B., 764 

Baker, E. S., 56, 94 

Baker, Edmund S., 636 

Baltimore City, 393 

Baltuff, Valentine, 141 

Banks — Experiments in Banking, 201; 
City Bank of Portage, 201; First Na- 
tional Bank, 202; Portage Loan and 
Trust Company, 202; F'irst Columbus 
banks, 246; First National Bank, Co- 
lumbus, 246; Farmers and Merchants 
Union Bank, Columbus, 246; banks at 
Kilbourn, 263; Kilbourn State Bank, 
263; Farmers and Merchants State 
Bank, Kilbourn, 263; Bank of Cam- 
bria, 293; Bank of Portage. 301; Bank 
of Poynette, 303 

Baptist Church, Rio, 285 

Baraboo Bluffs, 9 

Baraboo river, 403, 404 

Barden, L. W., 113 

Barden, Levi W., 118 

Barker, Archibald, 185 

Barkman, Mrs. P. J., 191, 192 

Barney, Robert D., 263, 688 

Barrett, J. W., 305 

Barteau, S. H., 280 

Barth, Laurant, 40 

Bartholomew, George M., 633 

Bartholomew, G. M., 267, 380, 381, 382 

Bartholomew, Josephine, 382 

Bartholomew, Marston Clark, 633 

Bartholomew, Marston C, 381, 383, 634 

Bartholomew, M. C, 26.7 

Bartholomew, Robert N., 633 

Bartholomew. Roland G., 633 

Bassett, Daniel E., 236 

Batchelder, S. L., 372 





Biitli, IX \V.. 142 
Batli, Henrv D., 1 
Bath. Irving, 144 
Bath, Levi, 151 
Bath. R. W., 543 
Bath, W. E.. 143, 
Batty, A. J., 193 
Batty, George M.. 
Bauer, Joseph, 472 
Beach, Charles F., 215 
Bean, John, 161. 213 
Behncke, Rudolph J.. 763 
Bell, John, 459 
Bell, Robert, 524 
Bellack, A. M., 155. 249 
Bellkighausen, Herman L., 
Bellinghausen, H. L., 116, 
Bellville, 290 
Bennett, R. C, 284. 362 
Bentlev, Frederick D., 594 
Berg, Carl E.. 573 
Bergum. Ellick B., 546 
Bieree, Daniel, 215 
Bill, George, 175 
Bingham, Ira W., 218 
Binnie, John, 483 
Bisbee, Darius, 401 
Blachley, Eben. 268 
Blachley settlement, 
Black Hawk. 42, 70 
Black Hawk's Cave, 6 
Black Wolf, 24 
Blair, Linus, 362 
Blue. G., 215 
Bock, Henry. 514 
Boelte, Fred J.. 545 
Boelte, Henry C, 545 
Bogue, Alan. 116. 117 
Bogue. David, 451 
Bohling, John F., 479 
Bonliam, John E., 507 
Boutwell, Simon, 540 
Bowman, Ella, 256 
Bowman, Hannah J., 458 
Bowman, Jonathan, 254. 395 
Bowman, Joseph J., 272 
Boylan, Charles, 745 
Boyum, Thomas R., 749 
Bradshaw, William, 85 
Bradley. William P., 408 
Brady, George, 212 
Brady, James, 213 
Brady, John, 212 
Braeson, Benjamin, 408 
Brannan, Samuel S., 136 
Brayton, A. A.. 371, 372 
Brayton. Stephen, 340 
Breese, Llywelyn, 447 
Breesc, Ll", 2oi, 203, 204 
Breese, Ll.. Jr., 203 
Brewer, V. E., 181, 194 
Briesc, William L., 733 


Briggs, Abbey 0., 207 
Brigham, Martha, 156 
Britt, Chauncey C, 135 
Britt, J. C, 181 
Brittain, .John, 155 
Brockmann, H., 295 
Bronson, A., 157 
Bronson, F. E., 226 
Bronson, Parks, 359 
Brown, Charles L., 113, 743 
Brown, Courtland, 301 
Brown, F. A., 147 
Brown, John, 366 
Brown, John A., 134 
Brown, John J., 282 
Buchanan, D.. 282 
Buckley, William, 341 
Buglass Family, 620 
Buglass, David", Jr., 620 
Buglass, Robert G., 620 
Building stone, 16 
Bullen, David, 379 
BuUen, Winslow, 349 
Bundy, Delos, 282 
Bunsa, George E., 142 
Burbach, Mrs. Fred, 191 
Burlingame, E. H., 151 
Burlingame, Leroy J., 151 
Burrington, S. 0., 241 
Bush, Harvey, 360 
Bushnell, Cliester, 366 
Bushnell. H. W., 214 
Bushnell, J. M., 148, 363 
Butler, Addie, 154 
Butler, Charles F., 147 
Byrne, John A., 129 

Cable, John, 94 

Cady, U. T.. 291 

Cady, Ulysses T., 760 

Caldow, William, 274, 499 

Caldow, Elizabeth, 500 

Caldwell, Charles P., 578 

Caldwell, John, Sr., 274, 662 

Caldwell, Robert, 577 

Caledonia Township — Caledonia the larg- 
est town, 403; drainage and surface 
features, 403 ; farm and timber lands, 
404; first farmers of the county, 404: 
first permanent settler. 405; "Daddy" 
Robertson and .John Pate, 405 ; Scotch- 
men name town. Caledonia. 405; 
daughter of Pauquette living in town, 

Caledonia F'air of 1861, 410 

Cambria — The Langdons found Cam- 
bria, 286; arrival of first Welsh col- 
ony, 287; seeking a location on foot, 
288; decide on Welsh Prairie, 288; 
fifty-three colonists "at home." 289; 
only three left in 1912, 289; Langdon's 
Mifl becomes Bellville. 289; Bellville 


changed to Cambria, 290; the schools, 
290; Welsh organize a Musical Union, 
291; Dr. Williams, patron of liter- 
ature, 291; revival of the ancient 
Eisteddfod, 292; postoffice established, 
292; hotels, 292; industries and banks, 
293; Welsh Calvanistic M. E. Church, 
294; the English Presbyterian Church, 
294; Evangelical Lutheran Zion's Con- 
gregation, 294; Morris J. Rowlands, 

"Cambria News," 147 

Cambria Roller Mills, 293 

Cambria State Bank, 293 

Campbell, James, 343 

Carnagie & PreScott, 113 

Carnegie, George C, 182 

Carpenter, George, 184 

Carpenter, Henry, 184 

Carpenter, Sarah, 184 

Carr, James C, 366, 367 

Carriers, 40 

Carver, G. R., 272 

Carver, Jonathan, 39, 87 

Case, G. W., 157 

Case, George W., 214 

Castle Rocks, 9 

Chadbourn, Frederick A., 346 

Chadbourn, F. A., 249, 561 

Chadbourn, R. W., 336, 346, 563 

Chamberlain, T. C, 3 

Champlain, 87 

Chancellor, James, 213 

Chandler, John A., 35 

Chandler, Joseph, 378 

Chandler, Julius C, 135 

Chapin, E. E., 94, 341 

Cheese Factories, 137, 352 

Chestnut, Patrick, 389 

Chicago & North Western Railway, 103 

Chicago and Wisconsin Valley Street 
Railways Company, 188 

Chicago & Wisconsin Valley Railroad 
Company, 188 

Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul R. R., 

Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Company, 

Chilson, Oliver G., 613 

Chilson, William 0., 613 

Chimney Rock and Romance Cliff, Dells 
of the Wisconsin (view), 6 

Chipman, William R., 469 

Chou-ke-ka, 73 

Chrisler, Elvin. 506 

Christie, Alexander, 176 

Christie, .James, 438 

Christopher, M. J., 384, 549 

Christopher, Roginald, 549 

Christopher, Thomas, 160, 311 

Churches — Father Mazzuchelli at the 
Portage, 159; the first of St. ilary's 

Parish, 160; stirring Methodist 
preacher, 160; tlie Methodists of Fall 
River, 161; Mr. Townsend on the Low- 
ville Sabbath School, 162 ; Lodi Metho- 
dists organize, 162; the Presbyterians 
at the Portage, 163; Columbus Con- 
gregational Church, 163; Cambria as 
a church center, 163; Presbyterian 
Church of Kilbourn, 164, the Norwe- 
gian Lutherans organize, 164; early 
churches in the townships, 165; early 
Catholic missionaries, 310; founding 
of St. Mary's Parish, 211; pastors of 
St. Mary's, 212; school building 
erected, 212; the Methodists of Port- 
age, 313; First Presbyterian Church, 
314; St. John's Episcopal Church, 
Portage, 316; First Baptist Church, 
Portage, 218; St. John's Evangelical 
Lutheran Church, Portage, 319; Ger- 
man Evangelical Trinity Church, Port- 
age, 319; other Portage churches, 319 

Circuit Court, 117 

Circuit court clerks, 1847-1914, 107 

City Bank of Portage, 201 

City Hall and Auditorium, Columbus 
(view), 337 

City Hall, Wabash, 188 

City Waterworks, 192 

Civil War — The Portage Light Guard, 
169; Company G, Second Wisconsin 
Volunteer Infantry, 169; First Wis- 
'consin Regiment to enter the service, 
169; record of the Second Wisconsin, 
170; Company D, Fourth Regiment, 
171; General Bailey and Major Pierce, 
173 ; General Bailey and the Red River 
Dam, 173; Companies A and B, Sev- 
enth Regiment, 175; Company D, 
Tenth Regiment, 175; Company H, 
Eleventh Regiment, 176; Company D, 
Nineteenth Regiment, 176; Companies 
C, G, and H, Twenty-third Regiment, 
176; General and Judge J. J. Cuppey, 
177; record of the Twenty-third, 177; 
Companies A and E, Twenty-ninth 
Regiment, 178; Company K, Thirty- 
second Regiment, 178; last Infantry 
Companies, 179; Cavalry and Artil- 
lery, 179; the Drafts in the County, 
179; war times in the county (Jamie- 
son) 333; securing volunteers for the 
Union (.lamieson), 334; labor and 
crops in war times, 336; fall of Rich- 
mond celebrated (Jamieson), 338; de- 
cline of war prices (Jamieson), 339; 
local improvements after the war 
(Jamieson), 340 

Clark, Charlotte O., 53 

Clark, Harriet, 155 

Clark, John T., 118, 137 

Clark, Joel, 217 


Clark, Nathan, 53 

Clark, Satterlee, 54, 62, 69 

Clark, Willard, 280 

Classical Institute, 155 

Cleland, J. I.. 215 

Clifford, M. H., 213 

Cloous, Joseph, 85 

Closs. Robert, 288 

Closs, Thomas B., 753 

Clough, Daniel, 220 

Clough, Ethel Pearl, 210 

Clough, Paul W., 210 

Clough, Mrs. W. G., 190, 191, 210 

Clough, W. G., 192, 208, 209 

Cobb, Moses R., 118 

Cochrane, Robert, 588 

Cochrane, T. H., 226 

Coffin, James L., 175 

Cole, Jonathan, 185 

Coleman, Harriet, 192 

Coleman, Thomas, 740 

Collins, Alexander L., 118 

Collins, A. S., 214 

Collins, James, 160, 194, 211 

Colonius, Charles A., 635 

Colonius, Josephine, 636 

Columbia Bank, Lodi, 274 

Columbia County Agricultural Society, 

Columbia County Bank, 201 

Columbia County Fair Association, 131 

"Columbia County Reporter," 135, 140 

Columbia County Teachers' Associa- 
tion, 154 

Columbia County Teachers' Training 
School, 154 

Columbia County Training School, Co- 
lumbus (view), 154 

"Columbia County Wecker," 143 

Columbus Canning Company, 248 

"Columbus Democrat," 142 

Columbus High School, 1895-1910 (view), 

"Columbus Journal," 141 
"Columbus Republican," 142 
Columbus Union Fair, 128 
Columbus City— First settler at Colum- 
bus, 227; Lewis Ludington becomes 
owner of the town, 228; Wayne B. 
Dyer describes the "Village," 228; 
Drake succeeds Dickason, 229; first 
lawyer and first doctor office together, 
329; James T. Lewis, 229; Postmaster 
Whitney and "Old Hyson," 234; Lud- 
ington's Plat and Addition, 234; first 
hotel, store and school. 235; mill prop- 
erty passes to J. S. Manning, 235 ; Co- 
lumbus becomes a village, 236; incor- 
porated as a city, 236; city depart- 
ments and activities, 237; electric light 
and waterworks, 238; fire department, 
338; free public library, 238; the 

school sj'Stem, 239; history of the 
school, 240; present graded system es- 
tablished, 240; William C. Leitsch, 
241; Congregational Church of Colum- 
bus, 241; German Lutheran Church. 
242; German Methodists, 244; English 
Methodists, 244; the Catholic Church, 
344; leading lodges, 245; first Colum- 
bus banks, 246; First National Bank, 
246; Farmers and Merchants Union 
Bank, 246; early brewers, 247; the 
Kurth Company, 247; Columbus Can- 
nmg Company, 248 . 
Columbus Township— Natural features, 
399; first settlement, 399; town or- 
ganized, 400; Birdsey a "live wire" 
Coming of Major Twiggs, 50 
Company F, Third Regiment, W. N. G., 
Gfuppey Guard of Portage, 180; com- 
petitive drills, 181; captains and ar- 
mories, 181; Company F, in Spanish- 
American War, 182 
Congregational Church, Rio, 264 
Converse, .John, 391, 441, 443 
Converse, Lena L., 146 
Cook, Erastus, 179, 220 
Cook, Kneeland B., 583 
Cook, John B., 584 
Coon. Thomas B., 263 
Copeland. Hamlet, 84, 426 
Cornell, William, 162, 429 
Corning, C. E., 193 
Corning, W. W., 116, 195 
Cornwell, Agnes N., 207 
Coroners, 1847-1914, 109 
Couch, D. W., 214 
County Asylum and Poor Home, \^'yo- 

cena (view), 116 
County buildings, 112-17 
County clerks, 1846-1914. 108 
County Club of Portage, 225 
County commissioners, 1846-49, 110 
County insane asylum, 115 
County jail, 114 
County officers, 106-108 
County Organization — O Id Portage 
County, 103; firet casting of ballots. 
104; Columbia set off from Portage 
county, 105; first annual election. 105; 
James T. Lewis insists on "Columbia." 
106; the county officers. 106; sheriffs, 
107; clerks of circuit court, 107: dis- 
trict attorneys, 108; county clerks, 
108; county treasurers, 108: register 
of deeds, 109; coroners, 109; county 
surveyors, 109; board of county com- 
missioners, 110; chairmen of county 
board of supervisoi-s, 110; county seat 
fights. 111; the decisive vote (1851), 
111; county building, 112; first steps 
toward permanent courthouse, 112; 
County seat fights. 111 

County Superintendents of Schools, 151 

County supervisors (chairmen), 1849- 
1914, 110 

County surveyors, 1847-1914, 109 

County treasurers, 1847-1914, 108 

Courthouse, 112-14 

Courthouse, Shortly after its Erection 
(view), 114 

Courtland Township — Rich and beauti- 
ful prairie land, 388 ; the Irish pioneer, 
389; "Chestnut" says Pat, 389; other 
arrivals of 1844-43, 389; Horace Rust, 
390; pioneer happenings, 390; becomes 
Courtland tovi'nship, 391 

Courts — Circuit court, 117; Probate and 
County court, 118 

Cowan, Horatio N., 271 

Coward, C. L., 147 

Cox, G. J., 210 

Cox, G. P., 94 

Crawfish river, 14, 365 

Creameries, 127 

Crelie, Joseph, 66 

Crelie, Theresa, 59 

Crocker, Mary, 369 

Cuff, H. A., 222 

Cuff, Harry A., 567 

Cummane, J. D., 213 

Cummings, Albert, 671 

Cummings, David H., 671 

Curling (Hastie), 416 

Curling and curlers, 131 

Curry, T. F., 224 

Curtis, Frederic C, 502 

Curtis, F. C, 128 

Curtis. Guy J., 676 

Curtis, Wi"lliam, 317 

Cushman, Orlando C, 699 

Cushman, S. C, 155. 362 

Cushman, Sylvester C, 151, 698 

'•Daddy" Robertson. 386 

Dahlen, Magdaline, 767 

Dairying, 16 

Dalles (see Dells) 

Dalton, James, 630 

D. A. R. of Portage, 223 

Davies, Uriah, 668 

Davidson, W., 282 

Davis, Jefferson, 51. 52, 53, 167 

Davis, M. M., 133 

Day, Frank, 727 

Dean, Chester W., 156 

Dean, Clara, 279 

De Carrie, 73 

Decker, J. R., 142 

De Korra, the noble chief, 31, 24, 40, 
49, 73 

DeKorra Township — Rowan settles and 
opens hotel, 385; paper seats of jus- 
tice. 386; village of DeKorra. 386; 
firet grist mill in South-Central Wis- 

consin, 386; railroad go-by, a death 
blow, 386; the spelling of DeKorra, 
387; railroad station of Hartman, 

DeKorra Home Guard, 411 

DeKorra Village, 386, 413, 415 

Delaney, James, Jr., 134 

Delaney, John, 133, 230 

Delaney, Joseph, 134 

De La Ronde, Frederick H., 641 

De La Ronde, John T., 59, 68, 74, 405, 

Dells, The, 4-9; first steamboat at the 
Dells, 262 

De Neveu, A. V., 117 ' 

Dering, Charles L., 236 

Dering, Guy V., 718 

Dering, O. M., 718 

Desmond, A. P., 212 

Devil's Jug, 6 

Dewitt, Oliver E., 264 

Dey, Benjamin, 360, 401, 402 

Dickason, Elbert, 327, 358, 401 

Diehl, John, 193 

Dietrickson, I. W. C, 164, 408 

Dinsmore, L. J., 345 

District attorneys 1847-1914, 108 

Dixon, A. C, 771 

Dixon, James F., 772 

Dixon, Luther S., 118, 414 

Dodge, John, 288, 435, 430 

Donaghue, William, 119 

Dooley, Henry, 85 

Dooley, J. H., 363 

Dooley, S. H., 380 

Dorsch, Christian, 433 

Dorsch, David, 433, 434 

Doty, James D., 83, 90, 300. 394 

Doty, J. D., 333, 385 

Doudna, Frank, 279 

Dougherty, James F.. 694 

Dow, Charles C, 181 

Downey, Moses J., 193, 607 

Doyle, J., 213 

Doyle, L. H.. 148 

Doyle, Lemuel H., 375 

Doylestown, 374 

Drake, Jeremiah. 239 

Drake, Peter, 163, 429 

Drake, W. W., 156, 236 

Drew, Leander. 434 

Drew, L. S., 434 

Duborg, Fred, 518 

Duclos, Albert A., 695 

Dunlap, N. B., 282 

Dunlop, William, 485 

Dunn, Andrew, 185 

Dunn, William J., 558 

Dunning, A. G., 305 

Dunning, Wallace P., 667 

Dyer, Wayne B., 328. 366. 374, 436 


Earll, R. W., 156 

Early maps, 87 

Eaton & Canfield, 376 

Eaton, C. C, 142 

Eaton, James 0., 382 

Education (See Schools) 

Edwards, Evan, 288, 290 

Edwards, John, 288 

Edwards, W. M., 202 

Eggleston. George H., 665 

Ehrhart, J. A., 116 

Eisteddfod, 292 

Elks of Portage, 223 

Elliott. John A., 156, 240 

Ellis, E., 218 

Emmett, Henry, 279 

Ensign, Leona, 421 

Ensminger, James, 320 

Epstein Brothers' Brewery, 203 

Epstein, Henry, 203, 559 

Erickson, C. A., 474 

Ernsperger, S. B., 224 

Esmond, Cornwall, 436 

Eulberg Brewing Company, 202, 697 

Eulberg, Adam, 203, 697 

Eulberg, Julius, 223 

Eulberg, Julius A., 203 

Eulberg, J. J., 203. 698 

Eulberg, J. N., 203 

Eulberg, Peter. 203 

Evans, Rev. D., 256 

Evans, James, 214 

Evans, John, 441 

Everson, Ivor, 508 

Everson, Samuel W., 509 

s, Andrew E., 468 
Fahey, Frank, 762 
Fairbanks, E., 437 
Fairs, 128-132 

Fall River— Description, 370; A. A. 
Brayton, first settler. 371; postoffice 
in 1847, 371; the village schools, 371; 
Methodist and Baptist churches, 372; 
early times in village and town, 372 
"Family Tree of Columbia County," 33 
Farmer, John, 88 

Farmers & Merchants Union Bank, Co- 
lumbus, 246 
Farmers & Merchants State Bank. Kil- 

bourn, 263, 688 
Farnham, F. F., 234, 236 
Farr, G. E., 218 
Farr, J. L., 433 
Farr's Corners, 433 
Farrington. Jesse L., 284, 502 
Fawcett, Adam, 218 
Ferguson, D. J.. 264 
Field, Floyd A.. 693 
Finch, H. .J., 218 

First Baptist Church, Portage City, 218 
First Congregational Church, Columbus, 

First land entries, 81 

Firet land entry (Jamieson), 316 

First land sales, 79 

First Methodist Church. Portage 213 

First National Bank, 202 

First National Bank, Columbus, 246 

tirst National Bank. Rio, 284 

First Norwegian Church edifice, 165 

First Presbyterian Church, Portaee 214 

First real "Settler," 82 

F'i«t white woman at the Portage 184 

Fish, E. F., 242 

Fisher, Mike, 526 

Flanders, Mrs. A. C. 223 

Flanders, Lvdia A., 26 

Fleet, D. H., 305 

Floods, 97-100 

F'olsom, Ella M., 661 

Folsom, William H., 660 

Foot, Lyman, 394 

Foote, John, 270 

Ford, Gertrude, 682 

Ford, Ira H., 681 

Foresters of Portage, 224 

Forrest, James F., 741 

Fort Winnebago (near the Porta"e) in 

1834 (view), 50 
Fort Winnebago— "A party named As- 
tor," 49; the coming of Major Twiggs, 
50; ground broken for the fort, Tl ;' 
completed, 52; amusements at the 
post, 52 ; noted men and women at the 
fort, 53 ; Lieutenant and Mrs. Van 
Cleve, 53; Henry Merrell, 54; Satter- 
lee Clark, 54; evacuated, 54; final 
dissolution, 55; Fort Winnebago in 
1834, 65; commandants and Indian 
Agents. 65; post amusements, 66; 
business trips under difficulties. 66; 
the Post cemetery, 77; noted officers 
of Fort Winnebago, 168 

Fort Winnebago Lodge, No. 33, A. F. 
& A. M.. Portage. 220 

Fort Winnebago Township— Town of 
Fort Winnebago, 421; Count Agosten 
Haraszthy. 421; first permanent set- 
tlor of town, 424; how the town came 
to be, 424 

Foster, F. C, 707 

Fountain Prairie — Drainage and land sur- 
face, 365; Chester Bushnell, first set- 
tler, 366; Dyer, Brown and Sage lo- 
cate, 366; the Magnificent McCaff'erty, 
366; first land entries, 366; school 
and church on section 23, 367; town 
government in running order, 367; 
reminiscences of James C. Carr, 367; 
first birth and first death, 368; re- 
markable friendship, 368; farming 

under difficulties, 369; an opinionated 
applicant, 369; public service of Carr 
and Adams. 369; story he told on 
Brother Sage, 369; Fall River, 370-3; 
Benjamin Sage, the victim, 370 

Four Legs, 25 

Fowler, C. H., 244 

Fowler, Chester A., 118 

Fox, Samuel, 85 

Fox, W. D., 94 

Fox river, 13, 14 

Fox and Wisconsin Rivers Improvement 
— Preliminary survey of the Fox and 
Wisconsin rivers, 91; changes in man- 
agement, 91; the old Portage canal, 
93; the canal in 1851, 92; new canal 
completed by the government, 93; Bos- 
cobel really through, 94; control of 
floods by levee systems, 94; cost and 
history of great public work, 95; first 
dyke gives way, 95; Lewiston levee 
rebuilt, 96; another levee to protect 
Caledonia and Portage, 96; govern- 
ment levee, last of the system, 96; 
floods of the Wisconsin river, 97 

Franklin House, 104, 185 

Freeland Tank Works, 205 

Free Public Library, Portage, 189 

Fuhrman, J. W., 218 

Fuller, Mrs. Gertrude C, 367 

Fulton, William, 210, 591 

Gabriels, Joseph, 305 

Gage, Stephen B., 426 

Gales, G. W., 285 

Gales, Thomas W., 372 

Gallett, C. R., 195 

Gamble, James, 182 

Gamidge, Charles, 511 

Garrison. J., 185 

Gates, Cleve D., 574 

Gates, Schuyler S., 6 

Gault, W. C., 204, 303, 352 

Gault, W. C, Jr.. 304, 639 

Geissler, J. A., 213 

German Evangelical Lutheran Zion's So- 
ciety of Columbus, 243 

German Evangelical Trinity Church, 
Portage, 219 

German Exchange Bank, 301 

German Lutheran Church. Cglumbus, 243 

Gochenour, William E., 611 

Godell, Guy F., 183 

Godhardt, Louis, 212 

Goers, T. 0., 271 

Goff. James R., 587 

Goodell, B. F., 137 

Goodman, Mi's. Maurice, 190 

Goodwin, Frank D.. 142 

Gorman, C. W.. 685 

Goss, F. F., 192 

Goss, Fred F., 193, 612 

Gowran, E. A., 202 

Grady, Daniel H., 646 

Graham, Frank R., 230, 222 

Graham, John, 116. 194, 195, 320, 631 

Grand Eddy, the, 10 

"Green Bay Intelligencer," 133 

Green Bay & Mississippi Canal Com- 
pany, 91 

Green, N. S., 344 

Green, William L., 305 

(JriflUh, S. P., 92 

(irignon, Antoine, 74 

Grignon, or French, Claim No. 31, 75 

Grignon, Lavoin, 50 

Grignon, Perrish, 50, 74 

Griswold, W. M., 336 

Gropius, Robert, 335 

Ground broken for Fort Winnebago, 51 

Groves, Frank W., 501 

Guild, George P., 218 

Gulick, A. v., 364 

Gunderson, Henry, 654 

Gundlaeh, August, 734 

Guppey Guard of Portage, 180 

Guppey, Joshua J., 118, 177, 180, 181, 
186, 210 

Guppey plat, the, 186 

Guptil, J. A. 128 

Haas, Charles, 218 

Hackney, C. P., 314 

Hadden, Frank, 481 

Hadden, William, 481 

Haertel, Carl, 609 

Haggard, Henry, 703 

Halm, William, 475 

Haight, Eliza, 149 

Hall, F. W., 214 

Hall, Frank, 572 

Hall, Hugh, 527 

Hamilton, Oscar F., 442 

Hammond, James, 84, 426 

Hampden Township — First settler, 436; 
town organized and named, 436; first 
school, 437; introdu'ction of fine stock. 

Hamre, A. 0., 715 

Hancock, Bradford, 178 

Hanert. Nicholas, 264, 693 

Hanson, Anond, 516 

Hanson, Hans A., 516 

Haraszthv, Agosten, 421-24 

Harkness" Larned B., 393 

Harnev, William S., 51, 53, 168 

Harpoid, E. V., 361 

Harrison, A. G.. 317 

Harris, Edward. 393 

Kartell, Charles, 303 

Hartman, 387 

Hartma,n, Joseph, 387 

Harvey, L., 162, 272 

Haseltine. W. B., 314 

Hasey, George E., 581 

Hasev, Samuel, 581 

Haskell, H. S., 240 

Haskell, Harrison S., 201 

Haskin, Don W., 629 

Haslam, Thomas B., 437 

Hastie, Archibald, 414, 418 

Hastie, James R., 416 

Hastie, James R. (Recollections) 

Hastie, William, 344 
Haw. William, 214 
Hawkos, George H., 535 
Hazard, Frank C, 467 
Heath, J. S., 279 
Hecker, Christopher, 729 
Heckman, George C, 215 
Heindel, R. L., 239 
Heitke, Henry F., 721 
Helmann, Valentine, 55 
Hendrickson, H. S., 284 
Henke, C. F., 244 
Henkel. A. J., 279 
Hennepin, Louis, 39 
Henry, F. W., 557 
Hensel, William, 194 
Herron, E. R., 172 
Hettinger, Leonard W., 768 
Higgina, Frank, 236 
High School, Pardeeville (view), : 
Hildebrandt, Frank, 602 
Hill, Edgar F., 176 
Hillie. Christian H., 744 
Hillraan, George, 411 
Hinds. Alraon H., 739 
Hinkson, Edgar E.. 487 
Hodgson, Aaron, 401 
Hoefs, Caddie, 154 
Hoey, Alexander Seymour, 310 
Hoffman, J. J., 208 
Hoile, L J., 218 
HoUv, Alanson, 141. 146, 251 
Holmes, Israel, 137 
Holtz, Fred G., 585 
Holtz. John, 585 
Hopkins, A. G., 759 
Hudson, Alonzo J. M., 217 
Hughes, J. J., 208 
Huglies, Michael. 566 
Hiighcs, William. 567 
Hulsc. L. J., 154 
Hummel, August, 619 
Hunter, John, 360. 402 
Hunter. Robert, 220 
Hutchinson, Riley. 478 
Hutchinson, W. L.. 461 
Huyck, Achsah, 156 

llslcv. Fi 


it of 1830, 21 

Indians — The Winnebagoes and Menom- 
inees, 20) fii-st tidings of, 20; last of 
the Indian lands, 21; Winnebago vil- 
lages, 21; De Korra, the noble chief, 
21; Indian payment of 1830, 21; Mrs. 
Kinzie describes the chiefs, 24; Yellow 
Thunder, last Winnebago war chief, 
26; last forced march of the Winneba- 
goes, 29; the payment of 1914, 31; 
Merrell's account of the famous 1837 
treaty, 67; the noted Indian family, 
De-kau-ry (DeKorra), 73; Indian re- 
moval of 1840, 74; Menominee Indian 
lands surveyed, 80 

Indian Wars — Uprising under Red Bird 
and Black Hawk, 42; the Winnebago 
uprising, 43; the pursuit of Red Bird, 
43; Black Hawk threatens Fort Win- 
nebago, 70; Clark sent for reenforce- 
ments, 70; on return overtakes 
mounted militia, 70; fatal stampede 
of troopers' horses, 71; "Battle" of 
the Wisconsin, 71; end of the Black 
Hawk war, 72 

Irish. J. E., 214 

Iron Brigade, 170 

Irons, Le Roy, 142 

Irons, Noah P., 458 

Irons, William P., 459 

Irvin, David, 68 

Irvine. P. C, 678 

Irving, Walter, 327 

Irwin, George H., 664 

Jackson, D. C. 329 

Jaeger, E. L., 201 

Jaeger, Ernest L.. 560 

James, H. D., 142 

James. Thomas H., 765 

Jamieson, Addison J., 302, 303, 331, 494 

Jamieson, Alice Agnes, 351, 353 

Jamieson, Amy Veola, 342 

Jamieson & Gault, 352 

Jamieson, Gault & Company, 353 

Jamieson, Hugh (Memoii's), 306-57 

Jamieson, Hugh, 113, 300, 302, 303 

Jamieson, H. P., 301, 302, 303, 325, 358, 

Jamieson, John C, 302, 303, 463 
Jamieson, Samuel A., 327 
Jamieson, William W., 329, 496 
Jaws of the Dells. 5 
Jenkins, George W., 688 
Jenkins, Dr. George W. (portrait). 397 
Jenkins. Marv M.. 690 
Jewell, Frederick E., 217 
Johnson, C. B., 555 
Johnson. Hubbard. 300 
Johnson, Hubbard E., 320 
Johnson, John J., 538 
Johnson. Thomas R., 749 
Joliet, 34 


Joliet-Marquette Memorial, 37 

Jones, Adula, 435 

Jones, A. G., 217 

Jones, Edwin C, 146 

Jones, D. Evans, 294 

Jones, E. E., 116 

Jones, DeGarmo, 92 

Jones, James E. (Kilbourn), 253, 256, 

Jones, James Edwin, 144, 146 
Jones, J. E., 687 
Jones, J. E. (Frontispiece) 
Jones, J. E., 132, 188, 189, 223, 417 
Jones, Mrs. J. E., 189, 190, 223 
Jones, Jolm K., 597 
Jones, Jolm A., 580 
Jones, John 0., 288 
Jones, Margaret, 441 
Jones, Stephen, 161 
Jones, William, 294 
Jones, William W., 701 
Jussen, Jacob, 247 

Karch, Martha A., 208 

Karcher, John K., 217 

Kearns, Thomas. 278 

Keegan, M. R., 160 

Keenan, Gwendolyn, 193 

Keenan, Joseph, 212 

Keenan, Thomas, 212 

Kegan, M. R.. 313 

Kellogg, A. C, 192, 210 

Kellogg, Alonzo C, 647 

Kellogg. Alonzo F., 118 

Kellogg, James R., 611 

Kellogg, Walter W., 230 

Kelm, W. 0., 193 

Kelm, William 0., 224, 595 

Kennedy, Timothy 0., 411 

Kennan, T. L., 94 

Kentucky City, 386, 413 

Kerman, Henry, 242 

Kerr, Joseph, 128 

Kershaw, George, 95 

Ketehum, A. C, 172 

Keyes, S. P., 149 

Kiefer, Andrew, 633 

Kiefer, Fred, 624 

Kilbourn, Byron, 252, 258 

Kilbourn, Byron H., 258 

Kilbourn City — The village of the pres- 
ent, 250; Wisconsin River Hydraulic 
Company fathers Kilbourn. 351; Edi- 
tor Holly arrives, 251; village plat re- 
corded, 351; sales of lots, 353; schools 
of Kilbourn City, 253; village incor- 
porated, 256; water service and fire 
protection, 256; the free public li- 
brary, 256; James E. Jones, 257; im- 
provement of Southern Wisconsin 
Power Company, 257; fifst steamboat 
at the Dells, 262 ; Banks at Kilbourn, 

263; the Presbyterian Church, 263; 
the Methodists, 264; St. Cecelia (Cath- 
olic) Church, 264; other religious 
bodies, 265 

Kilbourn Catholic Church, the, 692 

Kilbourn City Seminary, 157 

Kilbourn Institute, 157 

Kilbourn State Bank, 363 

I^ilbourn, Otis A., 435 

Kincaid, Orin, 375 

Kingsbury, Charles M., 220 

Kinzie, John H., 24, 56 

Kinzie, Mrs. John H., 24, 159 

Kinzie, Mrs., describes the Indian chiefs, 

Kirst, L. C, 280, 295 

Kleimcnhagen, Leonhard, 523 

Kleinert, Adolph, 489 

Kleinert, William C, 476 

Klenert, Anton, 590 

Kluckkorn, Charles, 244 

Kluender, Julius, 720 

Knibbs, John, 314 

Knights of Columbus, Portage, 234 

Knowles, George, 440, 443 

Koch, D. H., 242, 343 

Koepke, William, 304 

Koester, H. J., 280 

Koester, Hugo, 678 

Krech, Catharine, 190, 191 

Kroncke, W. H., 717 

Kurth, Anna, 347 

Kurth, C, 347 

Kurth Company, Columbus, 247 

Kurth, J. H.. 347 

Kutzke, Charles J., 638 

Kutzke, William, 638 

LaCrosse & Milwaukee R. R. Company, 

Lakes, 14 
Land Districts, 80 
Langdon, Francis B., 430 
-Xangdon, John, 105, 440, 443 
Langdon, Samuel, 150, 391, 441 
Langdon, Samuel P., 288 
Langley, R., 214 
Lanzendorf, E. H., 757 
Lanzendorf, William, 464 
Larson, Lars, 463 
Last forced march of the Winnebagoes, 

Last of the Indian lands, 31 
Last relic of Fort Winnebago (view), 55 
La Salle, 39 

Laughlin, William B., 349 
Law, G., 220 

Lawrence, William M., 208 
Leach, Solomon, 105 
L'Ecuyer. Jean B., 40, 73, 74, 76 
L'Ecuyer's Grave, 76 
Lee, Frank T., 183 


Leeds Center, 407 

Leeds Township — Town of Leeds, 406; 
chief of the forage towns, 407; first 
land claims and settlers, 407 ; Leeds 
Center, 407; organization of town, 
408; postotfices, 408; first Norwegian 
church, 408 

Lefferts, W., 332 

Leffingwell. Arthur, 526 

Leitsch, Robert C, 142 

Leitsch, W. C, 249 

Lennon, Patrick, 160, 212, 617 

Lennon, Patrick J., 618 

Le Roy, Francis. 41, 50 

Levee system, 14. 94-100 

Lewis, Gunder, 654 

Lewis, J. N., 272 

Lewis, J. T., 105, 240 

Lewis, James T., 69. 118, 156, 239-34, 
241, 443 

Lewis, T., 379 

Lewis. W. L.. 246 

Linck, Carl, 570 

Lintner. Louis J., 666 

Lione, John 0., 767 

Lione, Lars. 767 

Lione, Ole, 767 

Little Elk, 25 

Live Stock, 128 

Lloyd, Jabez, 288 

Lloyd, John J., 151 

Lloyd, Walter F., 217 

Lodi— The beginning of, 266; I. H. 
Palmer and the Bartholomews, 267; 
Rev. Henry iljaynard, 267; the Suck- 
ers Settlement becomes famous, 268 ; 
settlers of 1846. 268; the Blachley 
settlement, 268; fii^t M. D. and D. D., 
268; other physicians. 269; South v. 
North, before the war, 269; I. H. 
Palmer founds Lodi, 269; progress of 
local schools, 270; village charter. 271; 
water service and electric lighting, 
271; the Methodist Church, 271; the 
Presbvterian Church. 272; the Bap- 
tist Church, 272; Lodi lodges, 273; 
business houses, 273; banks of Lodi, 
273; Herbert Palmer, son of Lodi's 
founder, 274 

"Lodi Enterprise." 147 

"Lodi Flag," 146 

"Lodi .Journal," 147 

Lodi L^nion Agricultural Society, 128 

"Lodi Weekly Herald," 141, 147 

Lodi Township — A pretty healthful 
town, 380; George M. and Marston C. 
Bartholomews 380; Rev. Henry ilay- 
nard and wife, 381; a hunt for "Mil- 
waukee Woods," 381; matured pupil 
writes of first school, 382 

Log Cabin of the Real Settler (view), 

Log House of Dr. Leander Drew, West 
Point (view), 434 

Lone Rock, 8 

Long, George S., 728 

Long, Peter, 727 

Long, S. H., 39 

Loomis, Gallett &, Breese, 204 

Looniis, Annie E., 531 

Loomis, Daniel E., 530 

Loomis, Frank B., 182 

Loomis, Isabella H., 644 

Loomis, Nellie A., 239 

Loomis, Rodney O., 643 

Loomis, Mrs. R. 0., 190 

Loomis, Washington, 739 

Louis Bluff, Head of the Wisconsin Dells, 
Old Indian Signal Station (view), 19 

Low, Gideon, 53, 185 

Low, .Jacob, 427, 428 

Lower Dells, the, 7 

Lowth, Matthew, 238 

Lowville Township — Jacob Low, first Set- 
tler of Lowville, 427; first marriage, 
birth and death, 427; first postofBce 
and mail route, 427; the hotel, 428; 
town named Lowville, 428; first 
teacher and preacher, 428; coming of 
the Townsend family, 428 

Ludington, James, 242 

Ludington. Lewis, 228, 234, 399 

Luey, Cheney 0., 548 

Luey, Oliver Rodney, 547 

Luey, W. R., 548 

MacKenzie, John, 490 

MacKenzie, William K., 615 

MacMillan, H. R., 218 

Madden, John, 761 

Madison & Portage Railroad, 387 

Madison & Portage Railroad Company, 

Magoflin, J. H., 207 

Maloney, Thomas, 508 

Maltbey, E. B., 746 

Mandeville, Charles H., 651 

Mandeville, John E., 652 

Manning, Joseph S., 156 

Manning, J. S., 235, 236 

Man-ze-mon-e-ka, 60 

Marcellon Township— First settler ii» 
Marcellon, 420; others who came in 
1846. 420; name of Marcellon without 
meaning, 421 

Marcv, Randolph B.. 54, 168 

Markham, John B., 691 

JIarkham, Sidney D., 691 

Marlatt, Esther, 662 

Marquette, 34, 36, 87, 211 

Marquette Voyaging Toward the Jlis- 
sissippi (view), 35 

Marquette & Swan Lake Canal Com- 
pany, 394 



Marsden, Arthur, 674 

Marshes, 15 

Maseouteiis, 20, 34, 36 

Masonic Hall Building, 182 

Masons of Portage, 220 

Mattice, O. F., 178 

Maynard, Henry, 162, 165, 267, 304, 378, 

Mazzuchelli, Samuel C, 159, 211 
McBurnie, Reubin, 522 
McCafferty, H. W., 366 
McCall, Ervin, 288, 430 
McCall, John, 288 
McCloud, James, 381 
McConachie, John, 426 
McConochie, R. N., 132, 202 
McConochie, Samuel. 288, 426 
McDermott, Peter W., 728 
McDonald, Alexander, 405 
McDougall, C, 394 
McEwen, D. S., 218 
McFarland, Andrew, 723 
McFarland, John, 653 
McFarland, John Irwin, 654 
McFarlane, Hugh, 119, 149, 185, 220 
McGregor, John, 254 
McGregor, John P., 201 
M'clntosh, William H., 752 
McKay, A. S., 215 
McKay, W. J., 214 
McKenney, Thomas L., 44 
McKenzie, John, 344, 345 
McKinney, Humphrey, 408 
McMahon, Timothy, 758 
McMillan, George, 379, 725 
McMillan, G., & Son, 379 
McNair, William W., 163, 164, 214 
McNair, W. W., 215 
McNeal, Nelson, 220 
McPherson. Robert, 92 
McQueen, A. D., 465 
McQueen, J. R., 470 
McQueen, Sarah J., 470 
McQueeney, M., 222 
Meacher, Bvron C, 738 
Meacher, William, 222. 736 
Melvin, T. C, 242 
Mencke, Martin, 305 
Meneg, Pierre, 74 
Menominees, 20 
Menominee Indians, 80 
Merrell, B. H., 54 

Merrill, Henry, 54, 55, 56, 63, 184. 216 
Merrill, Z., 151 
Metcalf. David, 376 
Methodist Church. Lodi, 271 
Mill Dam, Okee, 383 (view) 
Military road, 90 
Miller, Ernest H., 714 
Miller, Jacob, 214 
Miller, W. G., 431 
Mills, Job, 731 

Mills, Mary, 732 
Mills, Robert, 240 
Mills, S., 350 

Milwaukee & St. Paul R. R. Co.. 101 
Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. Ma- 
rie R. R. Co., ' 102 
Miner, S. E., 360, 362 
Mitchell, L. H., 215 
Mitchell, Stewart, 263 
Mohr, Christian F., 563 
Montgomery, A., 163 
Moore, Charles, 160, 212 
Moore, William E., 541 
Moore, W. E., 284 
Moran, Domjinick, 747 
Moran, E. W., 190 
Moran, John, Sr., 677 
Moran, John, Jr., 678 
Morrissey, John, 213, 601 
Mound builders, 17 
Muir, Hugh, 414 
Mullen, William, 264 
Munger, E. D., 258 
Munn, Henry B., 210 
Murphy, Henry R., 245, 568 
Murison, George, 565 
Mylrea, Susie, 256 

Narrows, the, 6 

National "Verband." Portage, 225 

Natural features, 1 

Neenah creek, 13 

Nefif, G. C, 259 

Neill, Henry, 151 

Neill, John, 659 

Nelson, Anna, 154 

Nelson, F'rank Lee, 544 

Nelson, Hans, 460 

Nelson, Thomas C, 386 

New Armory, the, 183 

New High School, Cambria (view), 290 

Newport — Joseph Bailey and Jonathan 
Bowman, backers, 395; in 1855 con- 
tained 1,500 people, 396; making all 
safe and sound, 396; the slip and fall, 
396; founders move to Newport, 397 

Newport Township — Newport town and 
village founded, 438; first settlers, 

Newspapers, (See the Press) 

Nicolet, Jean, 33 

Niles, W. A., 156 

Noble, G. F., 251 

Noller, Fred, 533 

Northrup, Theodore, 428 

Noted men and women at the fort, 53 

O'Brien, Alfred. 534 
O'Brien, John, 716 
Odd Fellows of Portage, 221 
Okee Village, 101, 384 
O'Keefe, Daniel, 723 


O'Keefe, Mrs. J. E.. 190, 191, 192 

O'Keefe, James, 245 

O'Keefe, J. J., 193 

O'Keefe, John E„ 649 

"Old Daddy" Robertson's Fair, 409 

Old Indian Agency Hoiise, Portage 

(view), 56 
Old Mill, Nucleus of Pardeeville (view), 

Old Pauquette Church, Portage (view), 

Oleson, James, 332 

Olson. Henry D., 464 

Olson, James. 536 

Olson, Samuel, 280 

O'Neil, P. J., 212 

Orton, Harlow S., 118 

Osborn, G. H., 113 

Osborn, Lizzie C, 208 

Otsego Township — Present village of 
Doylestown, 374; Wayne B. Dyer was 
first settler, 374; village of " Otsego, 
375; land owners of the present 
Doylestown, 375; town of Otsego or- 
ganized, 375; plat of Doylestown re- 
corded, 375; fir«t improvements, 376; 
a boom, 376; Columbus too swift, 376; 
schools and churches, 376 

Otsego Village, 375 

Ott. Frank, 517 

Oviatt, Ernest C, 587 

Owen, Mary A., 700 

Owen, J. A., 700 

Palmer, David, 284 

Palmer, Herbert, 274 

Palmer, Isaac H., 381 

Palmer, I. H., 267, 269 

Pankow, A. Ph., 295 

Paper Towns — Wis'consinapolis and 
others like it. 78; paper seats of jus- 
tice, 386; village of DeKorra, 386; 
first grist mill in South-Central Wis- 
consin, 386; railroad go by, a death 
blow, 386; bad conditions for big 
cities, 392; champion townsite man, 
393; Baltimore City, 393; Wisconsin- 
apolis, 393; canal to stir the Portage 
people, 394; easterner looking for 
Wisconsinapolis, 394; first settler 
come to town, 395; never more than 
Port "Hope," 397; Wisconsin City, 

Pardee, .lohn. 277 

Pardee, John S.. 276. 277 

Pardee Encampment No. 38. 280 

Pardee Lodge. No. 171, A. F. & A. M.. 

Pardee Lodge, No. 126, I. 0. 0. F., 280 

Pardeeville — Founded, 276; John Par- 
dee, father of John S.. proprietor, 277; 
the old mill up to date, 278; protec- 

tion against fire, 278; Pardeeville 
State Bank, 278; incorporated as a 
village. 278; graded school system, 
279; Pardeeville's churches. 279; Ma- 
sons and Odd Fellows, 280 

Pardee\ille State Bank, 278 

"Pardeeville Times," 147 

Parry, Isaac. 513 

Parry, J. 0., 294 

Paske, Herman, 608 

Patchin, Herbert E., 670 

Patchin, .John. 673 

Pate, .John, 405, 414 

Paton, .James. 310 

Patterson, Eugene C, 217 

Patton, M. W., 288, 426, 431 

Paulson. Peter A.. 95 

Pauquette, Peter, 58, 63. 69. 160, 194, 

Pauquette's daughter iMrs. Thomas 
Prescott), 406 

Pawnee, Blanc, 23. 26 

Payment of 1914. 31 

Pearson. George P., 674 

Pease, Willard A., 763 

Pease, W. A., 532 

Peck, Harry G.. 769 

Penn. W. H., 214 

People's Telephone Company. Rio. 284 

Perry. G. Stroud. 263 

Perry, William H., 514 

Pervonsal, Antoine, 194 

Peters, Alice. 771 

Petere, Charles W., 770 

Peterson. Henry, 539 

Pettit, F., 212 

Pfuehler. August, 722 

Phelps, Milo, 495 

Phillips. F. N., 672 

Phillips. William E., 217 

Pick, John T., 245 

Pickering, Enoch, 85 

Pierce, Guy C, 172 

Pierce. Sarah, 379 

Pilcher, A. M., 214 

Pinnev. Samuel B.. 300, 322 

Plannette, R. W., 244 

Pleasant Valley Precinct, 382, 435 

Plenty, George W., 642 

Pomeroy, Mary L., 156 

Pond, William" H., 217 

Poor home, 116 

Population — Inhabitants of county 
(1846). 1,200, 87; household popula- 
tion (1846), 119; figures by decades 
(1850-1910), 120; population (1847), 
120; real estate and personal prop- 
erty (1875), 122; the figures for 1913, 
122; increase of population. Portage, 

Portage — First white woman at the 
Portage, 184; the settlement grows. 


.185; the canal booms things, 1S5; 
pUitting the town of Fort Winnebago, 
186; the Guppey plat, 186; incorpora- 
tion as a city, 187; increase of pop- 
ulation, 187; the present city, 188; 
Chicago and Wisconsin Valley Street 
Railways Company, 188; the fine city 
hall, 188; free public library of Port- 
age, 189; the city waterworks, 192; 
electric light and power, 192; com- 
mission form of government adopted, 
192; protection against fire, 193; Wis- 
consin River bridges, 194; final dis- 
solution of $119,000, 196; nomencla- 
ture of Portage streets, 196; experi- 
ments in banking, 201; City Bank of 
Portage, 201; First National Bank, 
202; Portage Loan and Trust Com- 
pany, 202; the Eulberg Brewing Com- 
pany, 202; Epstein Brothers' Brewery, 
203; th'e Portage Hosiery Company, 
203; minor industries, 205; societies, 

Portage, the, 37. 38, 39 

Portage canal, 92-94, 185 

Portage Book & Engine Company, 205 

Portage Bridge Company, 194 

Portage City Lodge. No. 61, I. 0. 0. F., 

"Portage City Record," 135 

Portage City Water Company, 192 

"Portage Daily Register," 137 

"Portage Democrat," 98, 143 

Portage Electric Light & Power Com- 
pany, 192 

Portage High School (view), 209 

Portage Hosiery Company, 203 

Portage Light Guard, 169 

Portage Llederkranz, 225 

Portage Loan & Trust Company, 202 

Portage Lodge, No. 35, K. of P., 222 

Portage & Superior Railroad Company, 

Portage Underwear Company, 205 

Porter, A. A., 137 

Porter, Mary, 192 

Port Hope, 397 

Portraits — J. E. Jones, frontispiece; a 
French Fur Trader and Carrier, 3; 
Gen. Joseph Bailey, 172; P. G. Stroud, 
254; Jonathan Bowman, 254; Hugh 
Jamieson. 306; Dr. George W. Jen- 
kins. 397 

Poser, Edward M., 726 

Poynette — Village of today, 299; its 
naming a mistake, 300; Judge Doty 
intended "Pauquette," 300; village 
platted, 300; Poynette in 1855, 300; 
first School, 301; crusty bachelors 
withhold tax, 301; first preaching, 
301; the times that tried men and 
women, 302; the Jamieson family. 

302; Poynette aS a flour center, 302; 
rivalry of the sides, 303; the grain 
trade, 303; Bank of Poynette, 303; 
school history, 303; the Methodists 
organize, 304; Rev. John M. Springer, 
war hero, 304; the Presbyterian 
church, 305; the Lutherans and Cath- 
olics, 305; first plat (Jamieson), 322; 
school district of 1852, 323 ; a boom 
for Poynette (Jamieson), 329; plats 
Jamieson's Addition (Jamieson), 332; 
rivalry of north and south sides 
(Jamieson), 332; improvement of 
South Poynette (Jamieson), 338 

Poynette Cheese Manufacturing Com- 
pany, 352 

Poynette Lower Mill, 330 

Poynette Presbyterian Academy, 158 

Poynette Upper Mill, 333 

Potter, R. L. D., 94 

Potters' Joint Stock Emigration Society, 
84-87, 169 

Pottersville, 86 

Powell, J. B., 222 

Power Dam at High Water, Kilbourn 
(view), 258 

Powers, Ambrose, 347 

Prairie belt, 12, 15 

Prairie fires, 313 

Prentiss, Guy C, 118 

Presbyterian Academy, Poynette (view), 

Presbyterian Church, Kilbourn City, 263 

Presbyterian Chui'ch, Lodi (view), 273 

Presbyterian Church, Pardeeville, 279 

Press — First Columbia County newspa- 
per, 133; suspension of the "River 
Times," 134; .John A. Brown and the 
"Badger State," 134; "Shanghai" 
Chandler and the "Independent," 135; 
"Columbia County Reporter," 135; 
Robert B. Wentworth and the "Port- 
age City Record," 135; Enter A. J. 
Turner, 136; "Wisconsin State Reg- 
ister" founded, 136; Brannan & Tur- 
ner, proprietors, 136; the "Register" 
from 1885 to date, 137; A. J. Turner 
and Major Rockwood, 138 ; "The Fam- 
ily Tree of Columbia Countv," 138; 
the facts of Mr. Turner's liie, 138; 
Maj. S. S. Rockwood, 139; first Co- 
lumbus newspaper, i40; "Columbus 
.Journal," 141; "Wisconsin Mirror" 
precedes Kilbourn City, 141; "The Co- 
lumbus Democrat," 141; "Lodi Weekly 
Herald," 141; "The Columbus Repub- 
lican," 142; first German newspaper, 
"Der Wecker," 143; launching of "The 
Portage Democrat," 143; Kilbourn's 
newspaper ventures, 146; Lodi's Ups 
and Downs, 146; "The Enterprise," 
147; "The Poynette Press," 147; 


other county newspapers, 147; de- 
funct papers, 148 

Prien, Joseph, 243 

Probate and county court, 118 

Proctor, Alfred H., 705 

Proctor, William H., 704 

Public School Building. Kilbourn (view), 

Pulford, Samuel D., 217 

Purdy, Mrs. E. S., 54 

Pursuit of Red Bird, 43 

Pythians of Portage, 222 

Quinn, Clinton, 488 

Rahr, L. F., 271 

Railroads — LaCrosse & Milwaukee Rail- 
road, 100; reaches points in Columbus 
county, 100; development of the Chi- 
cago, Milwaukee & St. Paul, 101; Chi- 
cago & Northwestern. 101; Wisconsin 
Central commenced at Portage, 102; 
completion of line (1877). 102; the 
M., St. Paul & S. Ste. Marie, 102; 
Hugh Jamieson, 312; railroad from 
Madison to Portage (Jamieson), 328; 
railroad work ceases (Jamieson), 330; 
railroad projects, 1861-62 (Jamieson), 
335; railroad work resumed (.Jamie- 
son), 337; Sugar Valley Railroad sold 
(Jamieson), 338; formation of the 
Madison & Portage Railroad (Jamie- 
son), 342; town aid to the railroad 
(Jamieson), 344; the meeting at 
Madison (Jamieson), 346; "Old Bees- 
wax" and George B. Smith (.Jamie- 
son), 346; ".Jack of Clubs" sustained 
(Jamieson), 347; general store for 
railroad men (.Jamieson), 347; trans- 
fer of town bonds for railroad stock 
(Jamieson), 348; bond question traced 
to the end (.Jamieson), 349; "Old 
Beeswax" got tliere (.Jamieson), 350 

Randolph township — Leads in agricul- 
ture, 440; George Knowles, first set- 
tler, 440; coming of the Langdon 
Brothers, 440; Ahlen and Converse, 
441; the first \\rU< t.i nnivc. 441; 
first Schools anil ir:i.!Mi-. Mr. Squire 

Patton and his ■lliuli ( m 
villages at a ilisiuunt. 44:.' 
itics brisk enough, 442 

Randolph Center, 442 

Randolph (West Ward), 391 

Raup, John A.. 202, 648 

Ray, O. D., 178 

Red Bird, 42-49 

Registers of deeds, 1847-1914, 

Reuter, A., 242. 243 

Reynolds, Alfred R., 732 

Rhoads, J. W., 386 

Riblett, Christian, 435 

Richards, C. L., 305 

Richards. K. W., 116, 117, 74 

but pol- 

Richards, L., 292 

Richards, Peter, 751 

Richardson, I. B., 214 

Richmond, Edgar, 658 

Richmond, George I., 659 

Richmond, George N., 179 

Riedner, William J., 512 

Riley, A. G., 270 

Rilev, B. Gilbert, 157 

Riley, C. B., 272 

Ring, Samuel, 384 

Rio — Origin of the name doubtful, 281; 
Rio platted by N. B. Dunlap, 282; 
first merchant and postmaster, 282; 
pioneer business and professional men, 
282 ; village incorporated, 283 ; schools, 
283; banks, 284; People's Telephone 
Company, 284; the Congregational 
Church, 284; the Baptist Church, 285; 
Lutheran and Catholic churches, 285 

Rio State Bank, 284 

Ritchey, John H., 215 

"River Times," 134 

Roads, 90 

Roberts, Chancy, 685 

Roberts, David, 441 

Roberts, David D., 288 

Roberts, E. 0., 293 

Roberts, Foulk, 288 

Roberts, Hugh, 95 

Roberts, Mark, 685 

Roberts, Owen M., 705 

Roberts, Thomas H., 441 

Robertshaw, George, 85, 675 

Robertshaw, William, 675 

Robertson, David, 624 

Robertson, David H., 273, 709 

Robertson, John A., 626 

Robertson, Thomas ("Daddy"), 386, 405, 
409, 414 

Robinson, Isaiah, 246 

Robinson, William H., 719 

Roblier, H. W., 115, 116 

Roche, .James, 212 

Rockafellow. Chancy T., 758 

Rockstroh, Herman F.. 217 

Rockwood, H. S., 140, 182 

Rockwood, S. S., 137 

Rockwood, Sheppard S., 138, 139 

Roehm, William H., 614 

Rogers, Jacob, 360 • 

Rogers, J. H., 218. 226 

Rogers, Mrs. J. H., 192 

Rogers, Josiah H., 536 

Rose, C. A., 473 

Rosenkrans, Cyrus E., 156 

Rosenkrans, C. E., 242 

Rosenkrans, David W., 151 

Ross, Laura D., 240 

Rossell, Nathan B., 169 

Rowan, Wallace, 82-84, 320 

Rowlands, D. M., 298 

Rowlands, Morris J., 287 

Rowlands, M. J., 293 

Rowlands, John R., St., 388 
Rowley, Moses, 362 
Roys, Edwin B., 531 
"Rundschau und Weeker," 14: 
Rupnow, Max, 531 
Russell, A. H., 181 
Russell, E. F., 347 
Rust, Horace, 390 
Ryan, Edward, 498 
Ryan, William, 411 

Sage, Benjamin, 366, 370 

St. Cecilia Church, Kilbouni, 264 

St. Jerome's Catholic Church, Columbus, 

St. John's Episcopal Church, Portage, 

St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Chui'eh, 
Portage, 319 

St. Mary's Catholic Church, 678 

St. Mary's Parish, 160 

Sampson, Samuel, 702 

Sanborn, Frank L., 589 

Sanderson, Thomas, 529 

Sanderson, Thomas, 661 

Sanderson, William, 520 

Sargent, Isaac C, 340 

Sawyer, John, 84, 436 

Sawyer, L. J., 237, 238 

Scene in Flooded District, south from 
Kilbourn (view), 99 

Scha-chip-ka-ka, 73 

Schemrael, H. F., 393 

Schenck, I. V. W., 215 

Schlee, Charles, 769 

Schloemilch, A., 210 

Sehmeling, A. F., 579 

Schmidt, Father, 285 

Schmidt, Frank R., 639 

Schnell, J., 235 

Scholfield, Mrs. R., 256 

Schools — First school outside the fort, 
149; first school district formed at 
Cambria, 150; too few cubic feet per 
scholar, 150; town of Winnebago, 
Portage district, 150; county Super- 
intendents of schools, 151; school chil- 
dren in 1913, 151; legal qualifications 
of teachers, 153; Columbia County 
Teachers' Association, 154; private 
and parochial schools of Portage, 155; 
Columbus Collegiate Institute. 156; 
the Kilbourn Institute, 157; Rev. B. 
C. Riley at Lodi, 157; Poynette Pres- 
byterian Academy, 158; present status 
of public schools, 158; first meeting 
of Portage board of education, 206; 
high school and graded system estab- 
lished, 207; history of the Portage 
High School, 307; the study of Ger- 
man, 308; present school buildings, 
308 ; City Superintendent Clough, 209 ; 
list of superintendents and clerks, 310 

Schubring, E. J. B., 359 



(ieorge E., 756 



William R., 75; 



. Karl R., 637 



Kmiiia, 154 



Fred W., 94 



1'. W.. 201 



iTr.iinaiid, 636 

SVi 1 

.iiiiii' M., 363 



Seott, William, 384 

Scott, W. J., 202 

Scott Townshi]] — Good fruit and dairy 
country, 435; first settler in Scott, 
434; M. W. Patton and others, 436; 


Blue tavern, 436; named 
after Winfield Scott, 436 

Seaman, J. B., 216 

Seats of justice, 386 

Second old Wisconsin Ri- 
(view), 195 

Seibecker, Robert G., 118 

Seville, Edward E., 765 

Shannon, Arthur B., 719 

Shattuck, N. K., 210 

Shaw, Robert W., 452 

Sheriffs, 1847-1914, 107 

Sheriif's residence, 114 

Shirk, J. E., 147 

Signal Peak, 8 

Sill, H. J., 340, 344 

Sillsbee, E. P., 156 

Simons, Freedom, 368, 369 

Simons, George H., 657 

Simons, J. Frank, 658 

Simons, Roswell D., 657 

Simons, W. G., 368 

Sloan, Hugh, 310 

Smith, B. B., 350 

Smith, Charles H., 645 

Smith, Chester W., 151, 155, 173, 224 

Smith, Clark, 161, 550 

Smith, Eli E., 505 

Smith, George B., 346 

Smith, George, 256 

Smith, Harriet T., 364 

Smith, Isaac, 85, 213 

Smith, .lerome, 245 

Smith, Leonard S., 95 

Smith, T. C, 399 

Smith, Walter E., 504 

Snider, Charles W., 471 

Snider, Harry D., 470 

Snith, Isaac, 160 

Societies of Portage— The Masons form 
pioneer lodge, 330; chapter, council 
and commandery, 321; I. 0. 0. F. 
bodies, 331; the Pythian Brothers, 
333; Portage lodge. Benevolent and 
Protective Order of Elks, 233; D. A. 
R. of Portage, 323; Knights of Co- 
lumbus and Foresters, 334; lodges of 
railroad employes, 225; Portage Lie- 
derkranz, 325; the National Verband, 


225: Countrv Club of Portage, 225; 
Y. M. C. A..' 22G 

Southern Wisconsin Power Company, 
Kilbourn, 257 

Spear, Chauncey, 360 

Spencer, William C, 156 

Spilde, L. H., 461 

Sponheim, Ingle E., 767 

Sprecher, R. A., 201 

Springer, John M., 214, 304 

Springvale Township — Description, 430 
adapted to cattle raising, 430; con 
tented, though without a village, 430 
Springvale's first settler, 430; high 
priced religion, 431; the Welsh set 
tiers, 431; organized under present 
name, 432 

Stahl, Samuel, 713 

Stanley, Henrv C, 683 

Stanley, Thomas, 683 

Stansbury, D., 214 

Stare, F. A., 249 

Starr, Damon C, 375 

Starr, Eason, 375 

Startin, Allen, 453 

State Bank of Lodi, 273 

Staudenmayer, Charles. 600 

Staudenmayer, Edward R., 601 

Staudenmayer, George, 599 

Staudenmayer, John G., 598 

Staudenmayer, John L., 600 

Steamboat at Devil's Elbow, Wisconsin 
Dells (view), 262 

Stearns, Alonzo B., 438 

Stedman, Reuben, 276 

Steele, William. 168 

Steere, E. A., 256 

Steinbach, George, 569 

Stevens. E. Ray, 118 

Stevens, George C, 553 

Stevens, Julia, 428 

Stevenson, Andrew, 492 

Stevenson, John, 492 

Stevenson, Thomas, 494 

Stevenson, William, 648 

Stewart, Alva, 94, 118 

Stone, W. H., 218 

Storey, R., 218 

Story, H. A., 210 

Stotzer, Rudolph G., 640 

Stotzer, Samuel, 639 

Stratton, Richard, 103 

Streeter, J. F., 147 

Streets of Portage, 190 

Strong, M. M., 320 

Strong. Jloses M.. 82 

Stroud. P. G., 254 

Stroud, W. S., 202, 210 

Suckers Settlement, 268 

Sugar River Valley Company, 343 

Sugar River Valley Railroad, 342 

Summerfield, George. 85 

Sumner, Edwin V., 74, 168 

Sund. Charles, 294 
Sundby, G. A., 285 
Susan, Charles, 217 
Susan, Charles T., 210 
Sutton, John J., 772 
Sweeney, John, 160, 212 
Swenson, Magnus, 259 
Sylvester, William, 155 

Talk English, 24 

Taylor, Alvin C, 622 

Taylor, George W., 682 

Taylor, J. B., 118 

Taylor, Melvin W., 694 

Taylor, Nathaniel A., 682 

Teachers' Training School, 154 

Tempelmann, Frederick. 708 

Tempelmann, William. 708 

Tennison, Alban C, 263 

Territorial road, 90 

Thiede. Charles F., 556 

Thomas Family, 318 

Thomas, Charles H., 521 

Thomas, John, 300 

Thomas, Lucy, 318 

Thomas, S. B., 800 

Thomas, Samuel B., 316 

Thomas, S. M., 155 

Thomas, S. Jliles W., 714 

Thompsori, Harry, 217 

Thompson, H. M., 156 

Thompson, Hugh M., 216 

Thompson, Nels, 651 

Thompson, Ole H., 735 

Thompson, Thornton, 752 

Thomson. W. J., 223 

Thorn, Garrit T.. 240 

Thwaites, Reuben G.. 34 

Tillotson, J. R., 549 

Timber areas. 15 

Tomlinson, Mark, 483 

Tomlinson, Robert, 482 

Topliff. Alfred. 436 

Topp. John, 734 

Topp. Minnie. 735 

Torbert, S. S.. 440 

Towers, James S., 604 

Townsend,. A. J., 162, 428 

Townsend,. Jacob. 486 

Townsend, Joseph, 486 

Traders, 40 ' , 

Traders and Carriers — Peter Pauquette, 
58-63, 69; death of the famous trader, 
59: sliot bv Man-?.e-mon-p-k:\, 61; in- 
iUinir,! l,v' liuiinr aTi.l f;il>r ilKirges, 



catr.l. i;:.'; tin' , -01111111; ><\ Wrury Mer- 
rcll, iV.'.: I',, 11;,, in ls:;l, 65; 
■CM.MiiiuiMlaiil-. aiM linliaii a;;.'iits. fi5; 
the l),'K..iia- aii.l ,l,,sr|ili Civli,.. 65; 
post ailllivruullts, C.t;; lill-illrss trips 
under dillicultics, 60: Merrell's ac- 
count of the famous 1837 treaty. 67; 



trips more or less exciting, 68; Mer- 
rell in politics, 68; Satterlee Clark's 
perilous journey. 69; Black Hawk 
threatens Fort Winnebago, 70; Clark 
sent for reenforcements, 70; on return 
overtakes mounted militia, 70; fatal 
stampede of trooper's horses, 71; 
"Battle" of the Wisconsin, 71; end of 
the Black Hawk war, 73 ; De La Ronde 
makes the Portage in 1828, 72; the 
noted Indian family, De-kau-ry (De 
Korra), 73; Perrish Grignon. 74; John 
B. Lecuyer, 74; De La Ronde becomes 
a Caledonia farmer, 74; Indian re- 
moval of 1840, 74; L'Ecuyer's grave, 
76; the Post cemetery, 77 

Train, H. V., 214 

Trapp, Casper, 515 

Trapp, John, 554 

Trapp, Louis, 515 

Trapp, Mary, 554 

Trapp, Otto, 554 

Trapp, Peter, 554 

Tfeadwell. Clarence L., 696' 

Trimm, E.. 214 

True, E. C, 151 

Tucker, L. J., 132 

Turner. A. J., 31. 33, 34, 51. 56. 76, 94, 
113. 135, 137, 181, 191, 282, 337. 342, 

Turner, Frederick J., 38, 139 

Twigg, Thomas. 86 

Twiggs, David E., 50, 168 

Twigg's Landing, 86 

Twitehell. K. E., 666 

Udev. Mvron «., 510 
Uffe'nbeck, William. 219 
Underdahl, Ellivk O.. 543 
Underdahl, G. O., 542 
Underdahl. Ole, 543 
Union Bank of Columbus, 246 
Upper Dells. 5 
Utley, .Joseph. 277 

Vandercodk, D., 201 

Van Cleve, Horatio P.. 53 

Van Cleve, Lieutenant and MrS., 53 

Van Ness, JessB, 128 

Van Ness, Sarah B.. 435 

Van Zandt. Benjamin, 215 

Vaughan, Samuel K., 176 

V-aughan, S. K., 221 

Veeder, Richard F., 217 

Views— Chimney Rock and Romance 
Cliff, Dells of the Wisconsin, 6; 
Witche's Gulch, Wisconsin Dells, 7; 
Louis Bluff, He'ad of Wisconsin Dells, 
Old Indian Signal Station, 19; Mar- 
quette Voyaging toward the Missis- 
sippi, 35; "Fort Winnebago (neaT the 
Portage) in 1834, 50; Last Relic of 
Fort Winnebago, 55; Old Indian 
Agency House, Portage, 56; Log Cabin 

of the Real Settler, 82; Wisconsin 
River Lock, Portage, 93 ; Scene in 
Flooded District, South from Kil- 
bourn, 99; Courthouse, Shortly after 
its Erection, ll4; County Asy- 
lum and Poor Home, Wyocena, 116; 
a Dairy Herd in Coluuibia County, 
126; Columbia County Training 
School, Columbus, 154; Presbyterian 
Academy, Poynette. 158; Wisconsin 
Street Front of City Hall, Portage, 
189; Second Old Wisconsin River 
Bridge, 195 ; Portage High School, 209 ; 
Old Pauquette Church. Portage, 211; 
City Hall and Auditorium, Columbus, 
237; Columbus High School, 1895-1910, 
339; Public School Building, Kilbourn, 
353; Power Dam at High Water, Kil- 
bourn, 258; Steamboat at Devil's El- 
bow, Wisconsin Dells, 262; Presbyte- 
rian Church, Lodi, 273; Old Mill, Nuc- 
leus of Pardeeville, 277; High School, 
Pardeeville, 279; Village Hall, Rio, 
383; New High School, Cambria, 390; 
Old Cambria Hotel (remodeled), 393; 
Wyocena Public School, 3G1; Mill 
Dam, Okee, 383; Log House of Dr. 
Leander Drew, West Point, 434; Wis- 
consin River Along the Newport 
Shores, 439 ' 

Village Hall, Rio (view), 283 

Vliet, Garret. 396 

Vliet, J. B., 251 

Voertman, August, Sr., 610 

Voertman, Emma, 611 

Voss, Fred, 519 

Voth, Ferdinand, 578 

Waggoner, J. H., 137 

Walking Turtle, 24 

Wall, George, 116 

Walsworth, Silas, 118, 184. 185, 194 

Ward, Mrs., 212 

Warren. Nathan, 193 

Washburn, W. B.,,193 

Water courses, 13 

Watson, Phineas, 340 

"Wau-Bun," 27, 56, 159 

Waubun Chapter, Daughters of the 

American Revolution, 37 
Wauona Lodge, No. 132. I. 0. 0. F., 

Portage. 321 
Webb & Bronson. 113 
Webb. B. M., 428 
"Wecker, Der," 143 
"Weekly Events," 146 
Weir, Andrew J.. 617 
Weir. William, 55, 616 
We-Kaw, 43 
Wellen, Coonrod, 380 
Wells, Jabes, 417 
Wells, J. H.. 132, 323. 593 
Wells, Thomas J., 621 
Wells, T. S., 384 



Welsh Calvanistic ilethodist Church, 

Cambria, 294 
Welsh Colonists, 2S6 / 

Welsh Prairie, 2S9. 292 
Wentworth & Company, 303, 350 
Wentworth, Robert B.. 135. 137 
Wentworth, R. B., 201, 204 
Wentworth, Mrs. R. B., I'Jl. 192 
Wcstcott, Ida A., 364 
Westerfield, John. 244 
Western Land Company, 267 
Westphal, Henry, 529 
West Point Township — West Point quite 

rural, 433; first house builder in West 

Point. 434; changes in name. 435; 

schools, 435 ; only one hotel venture, 

Wheeler, John E., 247. 551 
Wheeler, J. Russell, 247 
Wheeler, John R., 246 
Wheeler, J. R., 249 
Whirry. William T.. 442 
Whistler, William. 43 
White Crow, 25 
White. Daniel, 92, 115, 116 
White, Harvev. 362 
Whitelaw, William Reed, 656 
Whitman, A.. 218 
Whitney, A. H., 249 
Whitney, Alonzo H., 552 
Whitney, C. J., 207 
Whitney, Clark, 185 
Whitney, H. A., 234, 235 
Whitney, Henry A., 552 
Whitney, Jonathan, 397, 424 
Wilderman, J. H.. 218 
Wilkins, Samuel. 341 
Williams, Arthur. 596 
Williams, Benjamin, 440 
Williams, David E., 606 
Williams, E. B., 288 
Williams, Edward, 432 
Williams, Griffith J., 605 
Williams. J. L., 291 
Williams, Robert, 282 
Williams, Thomas, 606 
Williams, William R., 288 
Wilson, James. 414 
Wilson, James W.. 655 
Wilson, John. 301. 655 
Wilson, .John J., 455 
Wilson. Robert, 310. 455 
Winchell, A. B.. 402 
Winn, Lorenzo A.. 571 
Winnebago City. 386 
Winnebagoes, 20 
Winnebago uprising, 43 
Winnebago villages, 21 
Wisall, Elsena, 210 
Wisconsinapolis, 78, 393 
Wisconsin Central R. R.. 102 
Wisconsin City, 398 
"Wisconsin Mirror." 141, 146, 251 

Wisconsin river, 4, 5, 13, 97 

Wisconsin River Along the Newport 

Shores (view), 439 
Wisconsin river bridges, 194 
Wisconsin River Hydraulic Company, 

Wisconsin River Lock. Portage (view), 

"Wisconsin State Register," 136 

Wisconsin State Register Company, 137 

Wisconsin Street Front of City Hall, 
Portage (view), 189 

Witche's Gulch, 7 

Witehe's Gulch, Wisconsin Dells (view), 7 

Womer, Capt. J. D., 181 

Wood. A. L., 279 

Wood, Big Billy, 412 

Wood, E. H., 113 

Wood, Xathan. 285 

Wood, Samuel F.. 669 

Woodward. James, 730 

Wotring, Fred R., 215 

Wrede, Henry C, 576 

Wyocena — Founded by Major Elbert 
Dickason, 358; naming of Wyocena, 
358; high grade of early settlers, 359; 
first store, 360; pioneer schools and 
churches, 360; Messrs. Dey and Dicka- 
son, 360; dairy industries, 361; Wyo- 
cena State Bank, 362; the Baptists, 
362; the Congregational Church, 362; 
social and literary, 362; picnic held 
on historic ground, 363 

"Wyocena Advance," 148 

Wyocena Cheese Factory, 361 

Wyocena Public School" (view). 361 

Wyocena State Bank, 362 

Wj'ocena Township— Railroads. 400; old 
water powers, 401; first wheat and 
corn raised, 401; settlers of 1845-46; 
401; town organized, 401; U. S. Regu- 
lars rout claim agent, 402; grist mill 
below Wyocena, 402 

Wycofif, Samuel, 215 

Yellow Thunder, last Winnebago war 

chief, 26 
Yellow Thunder, 26-30, 31. 68 
Y. M. C. A., Portage. 226 
Yockev. Mary, 270, 382 
York, G. E., 192 
York, Irving W., 627 
York, Robert E., 628 
Y'ork, R. E.. 192, 201 
Young, Clark M., 377, 378, 480 
Y'oung, Usual, 378 
Yule, John T., 181 

Zastrow, Ferdinand. 710 
Zastrow, Herman E., 710 
Zienert, Alois, 564 

Zion's Evangelical Lutheran Church, 
Cambria, 294 





Wisconsin's Boldest Feature — Natural Route op Indians and 
French Discoverers — Protection op the Portage Necessary to 
Settlement — The Wisconsin Ri\'er and the Dells — The "How" 
OP the Dells — The Baraboo Bluffs — Through the "Grand Eddy" 
on a Raft — The Great Prairie Belt op Limestone — The Water 
Courses op Columbia County — Prairies, Marshes and Timber 
Land — Building Stone — Dairying and Agriculture. 

Columbia County occupies the central area of one of the most 
remarkable physical features of the State of Wisconsin, and its entire 
history has been moulded in an especially striking manner by geo- 
graphical position and geological status. Trace the course of history 
to its fountain head and it will be found that it has been largely deter- 
mined by such foreordained conditions, but in the case of Columbia 
County the results may be so plainly traced from the grand and natural 
premises that the book lies open in all the charm of rugged simplicity. 

The surface features of Wisconsin as a state are neither boldly moun- 
tainous nor monotonously level, which is the chief reason why those 
who have lived any length of time within its borders love the land, irre- 
spective of what they get out of it in a material way. It has all the 
charm of a varied personality, seldom ponderous or obtrusive. 

Wisconsin's Boldest Feature 

But Wisconsin has one feature which is strikingly bold, as well as 
flooded with beauty ; that is the deep gash which passes diagonally from 
Green Bay, the headwaters of Lake Michigan, to the upper waters of the 


Mississippi at Prairie dii Chien, iii the soutliwestern part of the state. 
Nature left two miles of slightly elevated limestone as a welt between 
the equal sections of the deep scar formed by the valleys of the Fox and 
Wisconsin rivers, and on either side lies Columbia County. 

Our former great state geologist, Prof. T. C. Chainbei-lain, has 
thus described Wisconsin in a state of nature, with this sole pronounced 
grove in its surface, of which Columbia County is the very center of all 
its picturesque charms: "The surface features of Wisconsin are simple 
and symmetrical in character and present a configuration intermediate 
between the mountainous on the one hand and a monotonous level on 
the other. The highest summits in the state rise a little more than 
1,200 feet above its lowest surfaces. A few exceptional peaks rise from 
400 to 600 feet above their bases, but abrupt elevations of more than 
200 or 300 feet are not common. Viewed as a whole, the state may be 
regarded as occupying a swell of land lying between three notable 
depressions — Lake Michigan on the east about 578 feet above the mean 
tide of the ocean, Lake Superior on the north about 600 feet above the 
sea, and the valley of the Mississippi river whose elevation at the Illi- 
nois state line is slightly below that of Lake Michigan. From these 
depressions the surface slopes upward to the summit altitudes of the 
state. But the rate of ascent is unequal. From Lake Michigan the sur- 
face rises by a long gentle acclivity westward and northward. A sim- 
ilar slope ascends from the Mississippi valley to meet this, and their 
juncture forms a north and south arch extending nearly the entire length 
of the state. From Lake Superior the surface ascends rapidly to the 
watershed, which it reaches within thirty miles of the lake 

"Under the waters of Lake Michigan the surface of the land passes 
below the sea level before the limits of the state are reached. Under 
Lake Michigan the land surface descends to even greater depths, but 
probably not within the boundaries of the state. The regularity of 
the southward slopes is interrupted in a very interesting way by a 
remarkable diagonal valley occupied by Green Bay and the Fox and 
Wisconsin rivers. This is a great grove traversing the state obliquely, 
and cutting down the central elevation half its height. A line passing 
across the surface from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi at any other 
point would arch upward from about 400 to 1,000 feet, according to 
the location, while along the trough of this valley" it would reach an 
elevation barely exceeding 200 feet. On -the northwest side of this 
trough the surface rises somewhat gradually, giving at most points 
much amplitude to the valley, but on the opposite side the slope ascends 
rapidly to a well marked watershed that stretches across the state parallel 
to the valley." 


A French Fur Trader and Carrier 


Natural Route op Indians and French Discoverers 

This deep grove, interrupted by only a narrow portage separating 
the water system of the great lakes from that of the great river, was the 
natural highway for the restless primitive peoples of the land, while 
Lake Winnebago, and the valleys of the main streams and their tribu- 
taries, became the gathering places of such powerful tribes as the Foxes 
and Winnebagoes, hemmed into Soutliem Wisconsin by the Chippewas 
toward the northeast and the Sioux toward the southwest. 

It was also but natural that the earliest of the French voyageurs 
should have selected this beautiful route, which to all outward appear- 
ances would lead to the magnificent waters which were known to lie 
somewhere in the West, rather than expect to discover anything of 
importance by way of the swamps and little reedy stream at the lower 
end of Lake Michigan. 

Protection of the Portage Necessary to Settlement 

So it was also that when the interior of Wisconsin commenced to be 
settled by white men, the Government realized that the keynote to their 
safety was a military oversight of the "portage;" hence the building 
of Fort Winnebago, in which the Indians saw their doom and protested 
accordingly. With Fort Howard (Green Bay) at the northeastern ter- 
minus of the route. Fort Winnebago at the portage and Fort Crawford 
(Prairie du Chien) at the southwestern end, the great interior water- 
way of Wisconsin was comparatively safe. The cutting of the separating 
belt by the canal, and the control of the turbulent waters of the Wis- 
consin by means of the ' ' levee system, ' ' were more modern works of con- 
venience and protection which Nature, in that part of the world, forced 
the American to accomplish. 

So we repeat that the history of Columbia County is peculiarly a 
child of geographical and natural conditions. 

The Wisconsin River and the Dells 

It is in Northwestern Columbia County, with Kilbourn City as its 
central point, that the Wisconsin River which has been flowing south- 
ward from the north boundary of the state is deflected eastward by a 
quartz range and then hemmed in by another coming from the opposite 
direction. From one-third of a mile in width, the noble stream is sud- 
denly contracted to one of not more than two hundred feet, and at one 
point it is not above fifty feet across. Thus forced, it cuts its way 


through seven miles of sandstone, whose walls rise from the clear, shad- 
owy waters to a height of from fifteen to eighty feet. 

There is probably no equal stretch of water in the world which exhib- 
its such fantastic and beautiful forms of water erosion, and the hundreds 
of little glens or gulches which run inland from the river are lined with 
caves, fern beds and carved sandstone. In most places the walls are so 
abrupt that it is impossible to land from a rowboat or pleasure steamer. 

The Dells (or Dalles) are naturally divided into Upper and Lower, 
the City of Kilbourn being at the head of the Lower Dells. Down the 
river from Kilbourn the channel of the Wisconsin is gradually modified 
until the stream again flows wide and shallow in an unconfined stream. 
The depth of the gorge is from fifty to one hundred feet. 

There is not one visitor to the Dells in a thousand, and probably not 
ten in a hundred of the old-timers in Columbia county, who can tell 
exactly where they begin and where they end. A nameless pioneer, 
who is noted for his precision and pride of "getting things straight," 
comes to the rescue in the following words: "Section 28, in Township 
14 north, of Range 6 east, lies both in Adams and Juneau counties, north 
of Sauk. The Wisconsin River, which is here the boundary between 
them, enters the north line of that section, and just at this point begins 
the Dells — the 'upper jaws' as they are familiarly called. The stream 
flows in nearly a south course through the middle of section 28 until it 
crosses into section 33. It continues through the last-named section, 
passing through the 'lower jaws,' and just at the point in the middle 
of the river where it crosses its southern line are the corners of Colum- 
bia, Adams, Jiuieau and Sauk counties. It flows on across the north 
line of Section 4, Township 13 north, of Range 6 east, with a course 
bearing to the eastward, crossing into section 3, but soon turning back 
into section 4. Here a dam crosses the river. 

"Above this point is known as the Upper Dells. From this dam is 
seen Columbia County and Kilbourn City, town of Newport, on the 
right; Sauk County, town of Delton, on the left; the river forming the 
boundary between the two counties. Below the dam are the Lower 
Dells. At the point where the river loses its characteristics of a gorge, 
it is called the Foot of the Dells. Throughout the whole length of the 
narrow passage from the Upper Jaws to the Foot of the Dells fanciful 
names have been given to the most striking objects and places." 

The Jaws of the Dells are guarded by two immense rocks. High and 
Romance. Chimney Rock tells its own story. The Dell House, rambling 
and wild looking, was one of the first frame houses built on the river 
above Portage, and was used as a tourists' hotel for many years. It 
stood across the river from the ehurchlike rock known as Chapel George. 


Many of the grottoes aud caves, into which boats bore the tourist over 
winding streams between fantastically carved sandstone, have been 
obliterated by the construction of the great modern dam at Kilbourn 
City and the consequent rising of the water level in the Upper Dells. 

"Where the river banks suddenly approach within fifty feet of each 
other is called the Narrows, aud in the earlier years this was considered 
the most dangerous point in the Dells during high water. The first 
bridge ever built across the Wisconsin was thrown across the Narrows 
by Schuyler S. Gates in 1850. 

The Devil's Elbow is at the entrance to the Narrows where the river 
square turn. 

Chimney K<i(k and Romance Cliff, Dells of the Wisconsin 

To the left is Black Hawk's Cave, the legend being that the old chief 
made this his hiding place in the days of the Black Hawk War. 

Near by is Notch Rock, a square huge bowlder, against which numer- 
ous lumber rafts have been shattered and lives lost. 

Canyons and glens, the Devil's Jug, the Devil's Arm Chair, Steam- 
boat Rock, and a hundred other evidences of the genius of water as a 
sculptor are on every hand in this region of the Upper Dells. Steam- 
boat Rock challenges especial attention. It is an island standing in a 
curious circular cove, and from some points of view resembles a large 
steamer, 250 feet long by 100 wide and fifty feet high, except that its 
perpendicular sides are rugged and covered with pine, oak and thick 


Stand Rock, one of the most striking attractions of the region, is 
over sixty feet in height, rising out of a beautiful glen and capped by a 
smooth sandstone slab about twenty feet square. 

Witche's Gulch, at the head of the Upper Dells, extends inland for 
three-quarters of a mile. Although the rocks tower on either side to a 
height of perhaps a hundred feet, one can almost touch the walls with 
outstretched arms. It is dark, gloomy and weird, with its phantom 

Witche's Gulch, Wisconsin Dells 

chambers, fairy grottoes, waterfalls, winding passages and damp ferns 

The river in its course through the Lower Dells is broader and pre- 
sents a greater diversity of bluff and bottom, but the side shows are less 
numerous and wonderful than those enjoyed in the Upper Dells. In 
some places great shelves, with stalwart young pines growing upon 
their very edges, overhang the dark waters; elsewhere, perpendicular 


walls loom up like vast fortifications, and further on the fortress is sup- 
plemented by bastions, projecting towers and covered archways. 

After leaving Kilbourn City, going down the river, the first attrac- 
tion is Taylor's Glen, which winds around and under the town, and the 
rocky cliff which marks the exit of one of its tunnels is known as Echo 
Point. If you have a sweet voice, it is well to be there, throw it out 
freely and listen for its uncanny repetition. 

Farther down the river are all kinds of caves and rocks. Signal 
Peak stands as a reminder of the times when the Foxes and Winnebagoes 
built their warning fires upon it, and around the bend are the Sugar 
Bowl and Ink Stand. The former is complete, but the Ink Stand is split 
down the side and will admit a small canoe. 

Lone Rock, with its Cave of Dark Waters, is majestic and lonesome 
in appearance, but withal wierdly beautiful. Then there are the Ovens, 
Hawk's Bill, Cobble Stone Cove, Coldwater Spring, and other seeming 
freaks of nature which are perfectly natural. 

The "How" of the Dells 

Many visitors will see and admire these wonderful sculptures with- 
out stopping to consider how they were produced. As noted by some 
Illinois professors, who have made a science of observing, "One of the 
features which deserves especial mention is the peculiar crenate (notched) 
form of the walls at the banks of the river. This is perhaps best seen 
in that part of the Dalles known as the Navy Yard. The sandstone 
is affected by a series of vertical cracks or joints. From weathering 
the rock along these joints becomes softened, and the running water 
wears the softened rocks at the joint planes more readily than other 
parts of its bank and so develops a reentrant at these points. Rain 
water descending to the river finds and follows the joint planes and 
thus widens the cracks. As a result of stream and rain and weathering, 
deep angles are produced, and the projections between are rounded off. 

"When this process of weathering at the joints is carried sufficiently 
far, columns of rocks become isolated and stand out on the river bluffs 
as Chimneys. At a still later stage of development, decay of the rock 
along the joint planes may leave a large mass of rock completely iso- 
lated. Steamboat Rock and Sugar Bowl are examples of islands thus 
formed. ' ' 

The walls of standstone weather in a peculiar manner at some points 
in the Lower Dells. The little ridges stand out because they are harder 
and resist weathering better than the other parts. This is due, in part 
at least, to the presence of iron in the more resistent portions, cementing 


them more firmly. In the process of segregation cementing materials 
are often distributed unequally. 

The effect of differences in hardness on erosion is also shown on a 
larger scale and in other ways. Perhaps the most striking illustration 
is Stand Rock, which probably is as well known as any feature of the 
Dells region. 

Minor valleys tributary to the Wisconsin, such as Witche's Gulch 
and Cold Water Canyon deserve mention, both because of their beauty 
and because they illustrate a type of erosion at an early stage of valley 
development. In character they are comparable to the larger gorge to 
which they are tributary. In the downward cutting which far exceeds 
the side wear in these tributary canyons, the water has excavated large 
bowl or jug-like forms. They are developed just below the falls, where 
the water carrying debris, eddies, and the jug or pot-holes are the result. 
The Devil's Jug and many other similar hollows are thus explained. 

In the vicinity of Camp Douglas and over a large area to the west 
are still other striking topographical forms, which owe their origin to 
different conditions though they are fashioned by the same forces. Here 
there are many towers or castle rocks, which rise to heights varying 
from 75 to 190 feet above the surrounding plain. They are remnants 
of beds which were once continuous over the low lands above which the 
hills now rise. The rock of which they are composed is Potsdam sand- 
stone. The effect of the vertical joints and of horizontal layers of 
unequal hardness is especially noticeable in the formations of this 
locality. Rains, winds, frosts and roots are still working to compass 
the destruction of these picturesque hills, and the sloping walls of sand 
bordering the "castles" are reminders of the fate which awaits them. 
These liills are the more conspicuous and instructive since the plain 
out of which they rise is so flat. Geological experts have pronounced it 
"one of the best examples of a base-level plain to be found on the 
continent. ' ' 

The crests of these hills reach an elevation of between one thousand 
and one thousand one hundred feet. The Friendship mounds north of 
Kilbourn City, the castellated hills a few miles northwest of the same 
place, and Petenwell Peak on the banks of the Wisconsin are further 
examples of the same class of hills. 

The Baraboo Bluffs 

But Columbia County is not a hilly region, and besides these inter- 
esting castellated mounds in the extreme northwest, its other marked 
manifestations of an uprising are chiefly what are known as the Bara- 


boo Bluffs. These are two bold east and west ridges — the southern 
much the bolder and most continuous — extending through Sauk and 
Western Columbia County for twenty miles and lying within the great 
band of the Wisconsin River below Portage. Their cores and summits, 
in some places their entire slopes, are composed of tilted beds of quartz, 
while their flanks mainly consist of horizontal beds of sandstone. The 
Baraboo Bluffs mark the valley of the river by that name, a large water- 
power stream which comes in from Sauk County and flows eastward 
through the Town of Caledonia to join the Wisconsin in Columbia 

Through the "Grand Eddy" on a Raft 

Before leaving this most picturesque region of the Wisconsin River 
we cannot forbear to present this description of the Dells written by a 
traveler in 1858, when they were a part of the Wild West: "Some- 
where about two miles (as they measure them here, and that is with a 
'woolen string') above Kilbourn City, through a rough and unsettled 
opening country, is the Dells. I availed myself of a 'lift' on one of 
the stages that left Kilbourn City in good season in the morning to visit 
for the first time that truly wonderful place on the largest river in the 
state. As I neared the stream and came in sight, I was struck with the 
wild, rough but sublime scenery. The morning was anything but pleas- 
ant. A regular Scotch mist hovered about the trees, little spirts of rain 
fed a chilly wind, the country around was dull, not a bird to be seen ; 
the trees were leafless, not even a bud or flower in sight ; the drab col- 
ored bark of the white oaks, with their scraggy tops; the dead-looking 
black or pin oaks, all destitute of foliage, their tops curtained with the 
gossamer haze of the mist that was borne along on the wind, that chilled 
the face and somewhat dimmed the eye — all looking drearj-; solitude 
seemed to be reigning. The only relief to the scene before actually 
reaching the river were the fine handsome tops of the pines that like 
cones of bright green, here and there, reared their heads tapering off 
to sharp points in many places, high above the oaks; appearing like so 
many green spots in the waste. 

"Turning from the course I was 'steering,' for I had missed my way, 
I found the road which lead to the Dells' bridge; that is stretched from 
rock to rock over the Dells, where the water is now eighty feet deep. 
On the bridge is a fine view, both up and down, of a dirty, spiteful and 
wicked looking river (speaking nautically). Here a river hundreds of 
miles in length that has leaped cataracts and rushed almost unchecked 
over rapids, spread at will over plains and piled up in its playfulness 


acres of sandbars, suddenly finds itself contracted; high walls of rough 
rocks, built up layer upon layer until they attain at some places from 
fifty to a hundred feet in height, have prescribed its limits. As if mad- 
dened beyond control, in the height of its anger apparently, it dashes 
into the jaws of the rocky monster that appears to swallow it. 

"Taking a good look at the stream- from the top of the bridge, I 
crossed, and proceeding for some distance up its side I soon came in 
view of some rafts preparing to enter what to many a poor fellow has 
been the Valley of Death. A request that I might have a passage was 
readily granted, and in a few minutes by some maneuvering the raft 
was started, and on we went gliding gracefully down the stream. The 
current appeared to me to get swifter and swifter, until the whole raft 
of cribs of lumber pinned together seemed to tremble and twist and be 
determined to go to pieces just because I was on it. I have heard of 
a lake somewhere up here called Devil 's Lake ; the same name should be 
given to this part of the Wisconsin River, in my opinion. 

"We are fairly afloat on the fierce, rolling, rushing tide, speeding 
down toward the turn above the bridge, where projecting into the stream 
is the dangerous rock, on the starboard hand of the river, called Notch 
Rock. Having sheered too much, or given too wide a berth to the eddy 
or some whirl on the opposite side of the stream, we s\\Ting too far and 
came too near the Notch, passing, it seemed to me, within four feet of the 
savage-looking point of the rock. On we went, the men plying their 
sweeps or oars with a vigor that appeared to denote a danger at hand. 
Looking up at the sides of the Dells when close to the bridge I beheld 
a scene of which I have never seen the equal. 

"In some places the points of the massive masonry of rocks seemed 
ready to fall on the raft and crush it to atoms. Their upper points or 
promontories that hung over and far above the stream seemed held in 
their places only by the strong roots of some towering pines, whose 
points or apex seemed lost in the clouds, and the roots of which had 
grappled with the monstrous stone or wall, running mto every crevice, 
rift or fissure, as though the two had united their strength to resist the 
efforts of some hurricane that had sought to dislodge them. Upon the 
outward limbs of some of these Norway pines here and there was seen 
a bird greatly resembling the kingfisher, calmly looking down upon the 
swift water that here, in its narrowest limits, was maddened and infuri- 
ated, writhing, twisting, whirling, seething and foaming, like some huge 
monster that was in an agony of pain as it forced itself through the 
craggy passage. 

"Little birds were seen hopping about the crevices of the rocks, pick- 
ing up insects from the moss; and pretty little shrubs could be seen 


snugly stowed away 'under the lee,' or in the crooks of the stony 
safe from rain or wind, as though the.y had 

" 'Chosen the hnmlile valley, and had rather 
Grow a safe shrub below, than dare the winds 
And be a cedar.' 

"Just as we passed the bridge, a hole or concave place appeared in 
sight close ahead of the raft, looking as if some leviathan had suddenly 
sucked down a hollow in the water; this place of hollow water seemed 
twenty feet across, and into this eddy the two forward cribs of the raft 
appeared to sink and to disappear, the water rushing upon the lumber 
and the whole raft feeling as if it was about to turn over with a twirl 
and go to the bottom of the vortex. I fancied I read in the faces of two 
of those belonging to the raft a sign of more than common danger; and 
a rushing backward and forward with the sweeps as the men put forth 
all their strength and activity induced me to commence the process of 
taking off an overcoat. This elicited a laugh from two of the 'red shirts;' 
however it was apparent to me that unless the raft speedily righted it 
would soon be 'every man for himself and God for us all.' This was 
the Grand Eddy. I call it the ]Maelstrom on a small scale, but large 

"I have no doubt that men accustomed to running the Dells get 
blunted to the danger, but I fully believe that to the unfortunate who 
gets overboard in the Wisconsin near the Dells, death is certain. I have 
passed many years of my life at sea, been tempest-tossed in some of the 
worst gales that ever swept any ocean. I have seen the crested waves of 
Cape Horn kiss the top-sail yard-arms of more than one good ship. 
I was off Nantucket shores in that memorable equinoctial gale that some 
eighteen years since hurled dozens of vessels upon the Atlantic coast, 
in which two pilots boats foundered off New York and hundreds of sail- 
ors went to their ocean sepulcher. I have laughed at the Atlantic, 
when the good old liner 'Caledonia' reeled to and fro like a drunken 
man, and cries came up out of the deep; but never have I felt as I did 
when that raft dipped its forward end into the Grand Eddy below Dells 
bridge, when I believed danger was really near." 

The Gre.\t Prairie Belt op Limestone 

The most important land feature of the county is the high limestone 
prairie belt which separates the systems of the Rock and Wisconsin riv- 
ers. It crosses Green Lake County in a southwesterly direction, enters 


Columbia County ou the north Hue of Scott aud Raudoljjh townships, 
traverses the county in a line gradually veering to the west and, enter- 
ing Dane County, turns due west. The western and northern face of 
this divide forms the eastern and southern side of the Wisconsin Valley 
continuously from the mouth of the river to the most eastern point of 
its great bend in Columbia County, and a spur of it is thrust out between 
the Wisconsin and Fox rivers to separate their waters. Further north 
the main ridge continues its northeasterly trend, leaving the Wisconsin 
entirely and becoming the eastern boundary of the upper Fox River as 
far as Lake Winnebago. 

The Water Courses op Columbia County 

The western and central sections of Columbia County depend upon 
the Wisconsin River and its tributaries for drainage. The main stream 
enters the gorge already mentioned as the Dells not far above the south- 
ern boundary line of Juneau and Adams counties. This wonderful pass- 
age of seven miles has already been described. At its foot between the 
counties of Sauk and Columbia, the river enters upon the most remark- 
able bend in its whole length of 450 miles through the entire State of 
Wisconsin. Through the Dells its general course is southward, but it 
is now turned almost due east by a hard, sharp cjuartzite range, like 
a flint arrow head, which stands for the union of the Baraboo bluffs 
pushing themselves in from Sauk County. Rising some four hundred 
feet above the river bottom it effectually turns the Wisconsin from its 
southerly course through the narrow Dells. The river then widens and 
naturally flows between low sand banks for seventeen miles to Portage. 

Above Portage, where the Wisconsin forms the southern boundary 
line of the Town of Lewiston, the ground immediately north is lower 
than the water in the river; the heads of Neenah Creek, a tributary of 
the Fox, rising a short distance from its banks. In times of high water 
the Wisconsin naturally overflowed into these streams, and the two river 
systems — those of the Fox and Wisconsin — mingled their waters in the 
earlier times, and often flooded Portage and the adjacent country to 
the north, devastating property and destroying life. 

At Portage the Fox, after flowing south of west for twenty miles 
approaches the Wisconsin, coming from the opposite direction. Where 
the two streams are nearest their natural channels are less than two miles 
apart. Before the days of the canal they were separated by a low sandy 
plain resting on the limestone belt described before. In a state of nature 
the water in the Fox was five feet below that of the Wisconsin at ordi- 
nary stages, and in times of high water the greater part of the inter- 


vening low ground was overflowed by the latter. To this fact was 
chiefly due the disastrous spring rises in the Fox. 

These natural conditions made necessary the construction of the 
canal and the levees, hereafter to be described. 

After doubling the eastern end of the Baraboo blufi's, the Wisconsin 
turns again to the west, being forced in this direction by the high belt 
of limestone which separates it from the Rock River system. Soon after 
striking the limestone region the Wisconsin Valley in Columbia County 
assumes an altogether new character, which it retains to its mouth. It 
has now a nearly level and generally treeless bottom from three to six 
miles in width, bounded on both sides by bold bluft's of sandstone capped 
with limestone and rising to a height of two or three hundred feet. 

The Fox River, which drains the northern sections of Columbii 
County, rises in the northeastern Town of Scott and the ad.joining sec- 
tions of Green Lake County, on the west edge of the limestone belt previ- 
ously noted. Flowing southwest and west, nearly parallel to the Duck 
Creek branch of the Wisconsin, expanding into several little lakes in its 
course (Swan Lake, among others), it approaches the latter stream at 
Portage, where it turns abruptly northward on its way toward Lake 
Winnebago and Green Bay. It has already been said that in the spring, 
before the building of the levees, this portion of the Fox received a 
large amount of water from the Wisconsin, much of which reached it 
through a branch known as the Big Slough, or Neenah Creek, which, 
heading within a mile of the Wisconsin, in the Town of Lewiston, reaches 
the Fox just south of the north line of Columbia County near Fort Hope, 
Fort Winnebago Towaiship. 

The Rock River system, which drains the eastern portions of Colum- 
bia County, is represented by the Crawfish River. 

There are several pretty little lakes in the county, which abound in 
fish and are favorites with summer tourists, like Silver Lake, at Portage, 
which is also an old-time haunt of the curlers ; Swan Lake, a link in the 
Fox River, lying in Wyocena and Pacific townships ; Lakes Loomis, Corn- 
ing and Whiting, Town of Lewiston; Mud Lake, Town of Lowville, the 
head of Rocky Run, and Crystal Lake, in the Town of West Point. To 
tell the truth, however, though we would not be without such little gems 
of water, they are more ornamental than useful, and up to date have 
had small effect upon the destiny or progress of Columbia County. 

Prairies, Marshes and Timber Land 

In further expansion of the physical features of Columbia County, 
upon which so mueli of history depends, it may be said that its surface 


is roughly divided into prairies, marshes and timber land, although all 
these have been materially changed, and are even now in process of 
transformation, by the modifying influences of civilization and devasta- 
tion. The prairies are not coextensive with those of the pioneer times, 
because in places trees have been planted and natural second growths 
have matured. In general, Columbia County presents the flat prairies, 
chiefly seen along the Wisconsin River bottoms, and the more ordinary 
rolling or broken lands. In some cases as in the Town of West Point, the 
prairie area includes both lowland and bold outlying bluffs, reaching 
300 feet in height. 

The limestone prairie belt in Columbia County occupies large por- 
tions of the towns of West Point, Lodi, Arlington, Leeds, Hampden and 
Lowville, continuing northeast though somewhat broken, through the 
towns of Otsego, Courtland and Randolph, and finally passing into 
Green Lake County. This extensive prairie area is mostly on high land, 
occupying the summit of the watershed between the Wisconsin and Rock 
rivers, to which reference has been made. It is nearly always under- 
laid by the lower magnesia limestone, whose irregular upper surface con- 
tributes much to the rolling character of the prairie. 

In the earlier times several of the most marked prairie regions had 
their special designations, like Empire Prairie in the south central tiers 
of townships. Fountain Prairie in the southeast, and Welsh and Portage 
prairies in the northeast. 

With regard to the timber areas, the whole of the county outside the 
prairie regions was covered with a prevailing growth of oaks, inter- 
spersed with other forest trees. Along the Wisconsin and Baraboo 
rivers were belts of heavy timber, composed of oak, basswood, elm, hick- 
ory, butternut and soft maple. There were a few growths of heavy oaks 
in the more northern and eastern parts of the county, as in the towns 
of Lewiston, Fort Winnebago, Marcellon, Wyocena and Lowville, and 
further south in De Korra and Lodi. But there are now few continuous 
belts of heavy timber in the county; on the other hand there are many 
homesteads which are protected and beautified by groves and stretches of 
timber which, in their natural state, were on the bare prairie. 

The marshes of Columbia County are usually small and the area of 
swamp, or waste lands, has greatly decreased within recent years. Both 
scientific drainage by the farmers, and the work of the state and national 
governments in diverting the flood waters into safe channels, have cut 
down the percentage to very small proportions. Prior to these improve- 
ments the marshes along Duck Creek and the Upper Fox River, east of 
Portage, stretched along as a dreary waste several miles in extent. 


Building Stone 

Although Columbia County is rich in deposits of sandstone and lime- 
stone, and numerous outcroppiugs are visible iu various parts of its 
area, these valuable building stones have not been utilized to any great 
extent. Small quarries are scattered throughout the county, such as 
those of limestone in Randolph, Courtland and Columbus townships, in 
the east, and Lowville in the central area, and sandstone workings in the 
Town of Fort Winnebago ; also near Lodi and other sections in the Wis- 
consin valley region. There are valuable deposits of granite and iron in 
the Town of Caledonia, but they have not yet been developed 

Dairying and Agriculture 

It is not in the quarrying of building stone that the soil of Columbia 
County has yielded its riches to the people wlio have settled within its 
borders. But few counties in Southern Wisconsin have better natural 
advantages for the development of all dairy industries than Columbia. 
The territory is abundantly watered, grasses and all forage plants are 
abundantly grown, and the varied nature of the laud furnishes much 
natural protection to live stock, even if the farmer fails to provide it. 
The result is that no industry is growing more rapidly, and fully sev- 
enty per cent of the milch cows owned by the agriculturists of the county 
are employed to maintain the supply of its creameries and cheese fac- 
tories. Another good result is that Columbia County butter and cheese 
is hard to beat, although Wisconsin is preeminent as a dairy state. 

The soil of Columbia county is rich in those elements required by corn 
and oats, by potatoes and vegetables, which are therefore its leading 
crops. It may be argued that because oats are so readily raised horses 
should be the main species of livestock ; or it may be inferred that because 
well-to-do citizens will have good horses, they have set about to raise good 
oats and plenty of them. Which ever horn of the dilemma you take, it 
is certain that both oats and horses are large sources of wealth to 
Columbia County. 

The details of these general statements are brought out in the chap- 
ter devoted to picturing the county as it is today. The story begun in 
the foregoing pages aims to tell what Nature had done for this section 
of the state, before either red man or white man came to improve upon 
its ways. 



Mound Builders Keep to the Water Courses — Mounds op the Kil- 
BOURN Region — First Tidings of Columbia County Indians — The 
Winnebagoes and Menominees — Last op the Indian Lands — ^Win- 
nebago Villages — De Korra, the Noble Chiep — Indian Payment 
OP 1830 — ]\Ies. Kedzie Describes the Chiefs — Yellow Thunder, 
Last Winnebago War Chief — Personal Recollections of Yellow 
Thunder (JIrs. Lydia A. Flanders) — Last Forced March op the 
Winnebagoes — The Payment op 1914. 

Most of the relics left by prehistoric man, the predecessor of the 
Indian, indicate that his habitations and his migrations were largely 
fixed and guided by the availability of the region for sustenance and 
facility of transportation provided by the water courses of the land. 
The old forts, and shrines, and hearths of the Mound Builders stretch 
through the great valleys of the Northwest, usually not far from the 
present-day streams. Both prehistoric man and historic Indian appear 
to have had in mind, in the selecting of their habitations and territorial 
domain, attractiveness of village sites and lands, riches of streams and 
forests, and facilities of migration, whether undertaken in movements 
of offence or defence. 

Mound Builders Keep to the Water Courses 

In Columbia County, as in other localities where the original inhabi- 
tants have left evidences of their life and works, prehistoric relics and 
structures are sometimes found stranded on inland hillsides, but almost 
uniformly near a valley formation or a pronounced depression. Not only 
is it certain that there has been a notable decrease in the volume of all 
existing bodies of water, but inland valleys and sinks and ancient shore 
lines, are evidences that many have entirely disappeared; but. as stated, 

Vol. r —2 



the works of the ilouiul Builders are never far away from such evidences 
of old-time streams or lakes. 

In some of the mounds examined in Columbia County are found 
near the surface relies of Indian origin, such as flint arrowheads, beads 
and pottery, while further below, and always near the base line, come the 
stone implements and the remnants of human bones that crumble into 
dust as soon as brought to the surface ; striking evidences of primitive, 
if not prehistoric occupancy. There is still another class of remains 
and relics, like those discovered some years ago near Wyoeena where 
the branches of Duck Creek come together. In an oak grove, about a 
mile from the old ^Military road running from Green Bay via Portage 
to Prairie du Chieu, is a well defined chain of earth works and depres- 
sions. The latter are pronounced rifle pits, and local antiquarians have 
dug from them not only Indian arrow heads, rusty bayonets of the 
American flint-lock musket, and pewter buttons stamped with the U. S. 
of the "regulars," but skulls and bones — all indicating a battle-field 
contested by the reds and whites at that point. Now in midstream, oppo- 
site the earth works and rifle pits, is a little rise of land which once 
formed a portion of the site of an Indian village. 


The most pronounced evidences of prehistoric habitation have been 
found in the romantic region of the Dells, especially in and near Kil- 
bourn City. One of the largest of the mounds was destroyed, years ago, 
in the construction of a village street. It was lizardlike in shape, with 
its head pointing toward the west, and originally the figure must have 
been 200 feet long. 

Very often one of these image or animal mounds will be surrounded 
by several which are conical in shape. A few miles fi'om Kilboum may 
be found one of the most curious groups to be seen in that section of the 
state. It occupies a plat of ground about 300 feet long and 80 feet wide. 
Near the southeast corner of the plat is the figure of a deer, the head 
being toward the west. Immediately to the north is a representation of a 
lizard, some 300 feet in length, around its head being eight or ten conical 
mounds, some of them twelve feet in height. 

About four miles south of Kilbourn, on the east bank of the Wisconsin 
River, is another interesting group. The mounds, in fact, are found in 
a number of other localities within a few miles of Kilbourn City. 

That the mounds were built at a remote period is evident. On many 
of them trees more than two hundred years old are found growing, and 
how many more have attained their maturity, died and fallen into decay. 



it is impossible to tell. Another proof of the great antiquity of the 
mounds is the depth of the alluvial soil which covers them. 

First Tiding.s of Columbia County Indians 

It is believed that the first historic evidences of human life within 
the present limits of Columbia County were the recorded tidings brought 
to Champlain of the tribe of Indians who hunted, fished and warred in 
a region many leagues beyond Lake Huron. They were called Mashkou- 
tenec ; later, Mascoutens. The Hurons translated the word as Fire 
Nation, and such French authorities as Marquette adopted their interpre- 
tation ; others, like the scholarly Dablon and Charlevoix claimed the word 
was derived from Muskoutenec, a prairie, and should be translated "Men 
of the prairie, " or " prairie people. ' ' But whether that tribe, of whom 
Champlain heard, should be called the Fire Nation or ]Men of the Prairie, 
it is certain that its members were long known as the Mascoutens; that 
they had numerous villages in what is now Green Lake County and that 
their hunting grounds, at least, stretched along the Fox River well into 
the present bounds of Columbia County. 

The Winnebagoes and Menominees 

The nearest tribe to the Mascoutens down the Fox River was that of 
the AVinnebagoes, whose homes were at the mouth of that stream and 
around Lake Winnebago. To the south, extending well up Rock River, 
were the Illinois, who were afterward driven beyond the Mississippi. 
The Foxes then crowded the IMascoutens southward to the shores of 
Lake ^Michigan, and after occupying territory which included the Colum- 
bia County of today for a time, migi-ated toward the southwest. 

Then came the Winnebagoes from the Green Bay and Lake Winne- 
bago regions, their territory gradually extending up the Fox River, 
across the portage and down the Wisconsin. They seemed to be both a 
strong and patient tribe and founded several villages within the county 
which flourished for a number of years. Although several treaties of 
peace were made with the Winnebagoes, who had succeeded to the great 
Chippewa Territory of Northern Wisconsin and the lands of the Foxes 
in the central and southern parts of the state, the general Government 
did not finally obtain a cession of the Winnebago lands in Columbia 
County until 1833 and 1837. The treaty of the former year ceded all 
except the area now included in the Town of Caledonia, and that section 
of the county became Government property in the latter year. 


Last op the Indian Lands 

The Indian lands of Columbia County now included the tract between 
the Fox and Wisconsin rivers, including the extreme northv/est embraced 
by the towns of Newport and Lewiston, that portion of Fort Winnebago 
west of the Fox, the village of Kilbourn City and a part of the City of 
Portage. This section of Northwestern Columbia County was included 
in the Menominee lands until January 23, 1849, although the Indians 
of that tribe had never settled upon them. The treaty of that date ceded 
all these lands to the general Government ; but they remained in actual 
possession of them until 1851. 

Winnebago Villages 

The Winnebagoes were the only red men who became actual residents 
of Columbia County. The largest of their villages, which was two miles 
south of the portage, consisted of more than one hundred lodges, and 
was occupied by their principal chief, De Korra, from whom the town is 
named. The village was afterward moved to land known as the Caffrey 
place. Town of Caledonia, at the foot of a bluff between the Wisconsin 
and Baraboo rivers. The school house of District No. 5 subsequently 
occupied a part of the site. Soon after the completion of Fort Winne- 
bago in 1830, the Winnebago villages commenced to disintegrate, and 
there were few remains of them when the title to their lands was 
extinguished in 1837. 

De Korra, the Noble Chief 

It is said that De Korra, perhaps the best known of the early chiefs 
in Columbia County, was the grandson of Sebrevoir de Carrie, an officer 
in the French army who was mortally wounded at Quebec in 1760, and 
who had previously been a fur trader among the Winnebago Indians. 
His name, at least, has been derived from that source. lie was a favor- 
ite with white settlers and a picturesque figure at the annual gathering 
of his tribe, when the Government paid the Indians their annuities at 
Fort Winnebago. 

Indian Payment op 1830 

A payment made to the Winnebagoes in 1830 is thus described by 
an eye-witness: "There were two divisions of the Winnebago Indians, 
one of which was paid by the agent at the portage, the other at Prairie 


dii Chien. The first, lietween 4,000 and 5,000 in number, received ac- 
cording to treaty stipulations, $15,000 annually, besides a considerable 
amount of presents and certain rations of bread and pork, to be issued 
in times of emergency throughout the year. The principal villages of 
this division of the tribe wei'e at Lake Winnebago, Green and Fox lakes, 
the Barribault (now Baral)oo), Mud Lake (Dodge County), the Four 
Lakes, Kosh-ko-noug (White Crow's village) and Turtle Creek (now 
Beloit). Messengers were dispatched at or before the arrival of the 
annuity money to all the villages, to notify the heads of families or 
lodges to assemble at the portage. 

"When arrived the masters of families, under their different chiefs, 
gave in their names and the number in their lodges, to be registered. 
As, in paying, a sum of money is apportioned to each individual, it is 
an object to the head of a lodge to make the number registered as great 
as possible. Each one brings his little bundle of sticks and presents it 
to the agent to register. Sometimes a dialogue like the following oc- 
curs: 'How many have you in your lodge?' 

"The Indian carefully and with great ceremony counts a bundle 
of sticks — 'Fifteen.' 

" 'How many men?' 

" 'Two.' 

"The agent lays aside two sticks. 

" 'How many women?' 

" 'Three.' 

"Three more sticks are separated. 

" 'Eight.' 

"Eight sticks are added to the heap. 

" 'What is the meaning of those two sticks that remain?' 

"The culprit, whose arithmetic had not served him to cany out 
this deception, disappears amid the shouts and jeers of his companions, 
who are always well pleased at the detection of any roguery in which 
they have had no share. 

"The young ofBcers generally assisted in counting out and deliver- 
ing the money at these payments and it was no unusual thing, as the 
last band came up, for the chiefs to take a quantity of silver out of the 
box and request their father to pay his friends for their trouble, seem- 
ing really disturbed at his refusal. In this, as in almost every instance, 
we see the native courtesy and politeness which are never lost sight of 
among them. If a party comes to their father to beg for provisions 
and food is offered them, however hungry they may be. each waits 
patiently until one of the company makes an equal distrilratiou of the 


whole, and theu taking his share eats it quietly, with the greatest 
moderation. I never saw this riile violated, save in one instance. 

"Our friend. Pawnee Blanc, 'the old dandy,' once came with a 
party of Indians requesting permission to dance for as in the open 
space before the door. It was a warm, dusty afternoon, and as our 
friends grew heated and fatigued with their violent and long-continued 
exei'cise, a pitcher of raspberry negus was prepared .Tnd sent out to 
them. Pawnee received the pitcher and tumbler, and poariug the latter 
about half full gave it to the first in the circle, theu filled the same for 
the next and so on, until it occurred to him to look into the pitcher. 
What he saw there, determined his course of action; so, setting the 
tumbler on the ground he raised the pitcher to his lips and gave a 
hearty pull, after which he went on, giving less and less, until he was 
called to have the pitcher replenished. All present agreed it was the 
first instance they had ever witnessed of an Indian appearing afraid 
of getting less of a thing than his share. 

"During the payment a good many kegs of whiskey find their way 
into the lodges of the Indians, notwithstanding the watchfulness of both 
officers and agent. Where there is a demand there will always be a 
supply, let the legal prohibitions be what they may. The last day of 
the payment is invariably one of general carousing. 

"When the men begin their frolic, the women carefully gather all 
the guns, knives, tomahawks and weapons of every description and secrete 
them, that as little mischief as possible may be done in the absence of 
all restraint and reason. I am sorry to record that our little friend, 
Pawnee Blane, was greatly addicted to the pleasures of the bottle. 

"Among the presents for the chiefs brought from the east was a 
trunk of blue cloth coats trimmed with broad gold lace, and a box of 
round, black hats, ornamented in a similar manner. All who are familiar 
with Indians of whatever tribe will have observed that their first step 
toward civilization, whether a man or a woman, is mounting a man's 
hat decorated with tinsel, ribbons and feathers. Pawnee was among 
the happy number remembered in the distribution, so donning at once 
his new costume and tying a few additional bunches of gay-colored rib- 
bons to a long spear that was always his baton of ceremony, he came at 
once, followed by an admiring train chiefly of women, to pay me a 
visit of state. 

"The solemn gravity of his countenance as he motioned away those 
who would approach too near and finger his newly received finery; 
the dignity with which he strutted along, edging this way and that to 
avoid any possible contact from homely, everyday wardrobes, augured 


well for a coutinuation of propriety and self-respect and a due con- 
sideration of the good opinion of all around. 

"But, alas for Pawnee! Late in the day, we saw hira assisted to- 
ward his lodge by two stout young Indians, who had pulled him out of 
a ditch, his fine coat covered with mud, his hat battered, his spear shorn 
of its gay streamers, and poor PawTiee himself weeping and uttering 
all the doleful lamentations of a tipsy Indian." 

JIrs. Kinzie Describes the Chiefs 

John H. Kinzie, son of the John Kinzie who is generally called the 
"father of Chicago," came to Port Winnebago as the Indian agent in 
1831, accompanied by his charming and talented young wife. She 
was the author of "Wau-Bun," that interesting and valuable book 
dealing with life and events at such frontier posts as Fort Dearborn 
and Fort Winnebago. We shall have occasion to draw upon her remin- 
iscences later, our present indelrtedness to her being on the score of her 
picjuant description of the best known of the Winnebago chiefs, in these 
words: "After breakfast I received a visit from the principal chiefs, 
who had put on their best of apparel and paint, to receive their new 

"There was Naw-Kaw or Kar-ray-raau-nee, the Walking Turtle, then 
the principal chief of the nation, a stalwart Indian with a broad, pleas- 
ant countenance, the great peculiarity of which was an immense under 
lip hanging nearly to his chin. 

"There was old De-Kau-ray (De Korra), the most noble, dignified 
and venerable of his own, or indeed of any tribe. His fine, Roman 
countenance, rendered still more striking by his bald head, with one 
tuft of long, silvery hair, neatly tied and falling to his slioulders; his 
perfectly neat and appropriate dress, almost without ornament, and his 
courteous demeanor never laid aside under any circumstances, all com- 
bined to give him the highest place in the consideration of all who 
knew him. 

"There was Black Wolf, whose lowering, surly face was well de- 
scribed by his name. The fierce expression of his countenance was 
greatly heightened by the masses of heavy black hair hanging around 
it, quite contrary to the usual fashion among the Winnebagoes. They, 
for the most part, remove a portion of the hair, the remainder of which 
is drawn to the back of the head, clubbed and ornamented with beads, 
ribbons, cock feathers, or, if they are so entitled, an eagle's feather for 
every scalp taken from an enemy. 

"There was Talk English, a remarkably handsome young Indian, 


who received his name in the following manner: He was one of the 
party of sixteen Winnebagoes who had, by invitation, accompanied their 
agent and Major Forsyth (or the Chippewa, as he was called) on a 
visit to the president at Washington, the year previous. On the journey 
the question naturally addi'essed to them by people not familiar with 
the western Indians was 'Do .you talk English?' The young fellow, 
being very observant, came to his father. 'What do they mean by this? 
Everybody says to me. "Talk English?" ' The agent interpreted the 
words to him. 'Ah, very well!' The next place they arrived at was 
Lockport, New York. Jumping off the canal boat upon the lock, he 
ran np to the first man he met and thrusting forward his face called 
out 'Talk Eengeesh?' 'Yes,' said the man. 'Do you talk English?' 
'Ya-as. ' From that time forward he always bore the name of Talk Eng- 
lish and was registered on the payrolls by that title, of which he was 
not a little proud. 

"Hoo-wau-nee-kah, the Little Elk, was another of the distinguished 
meu of the tribe. He had likewise been at Washington. Henry Clay, 
when he visited them, after looking carefully at the countenances and 
bearing of all the membei's of the deputation, had indicated him as 
possessing the greatest talent; and he was greatly pleased when in- 
formed that he was the principal orator of the nation and decidedly 
superior in abilities to any other individual of the tribe. 

"Then there was Kau-ray-kaw-saw-kaw, the White Crow, a Roek 
River Indian, who afterward distinguished himself as a friend of the 
whites during the Sauk war. He was called by the French, Le Borgne, 
from having lost an eye ; and the black silk handkerchief which he wore 
drooping over the left side of his face to disguise the blemish, taken 
with his native costume, gave him a very singular appearance. 

"There was a nephew of the defunct Four Legs, to whom, with jus- 
tice, was given by both whites and Indians, the appellation of the Dandy. 
When out of mourning, his dress was of the most studied and fanciful 
character. A shirt (when he condescended to wear any) of the brightest 
colors, ornamented with innumerable rows of silver brooches set thickly 
together; never less than two pairs of silver arm bands; leggings and 
moccasins of the most elaborate embroidery, in ribbons and porcupine 
quills; everything that he could devise in the shape of an ornamfent, 
hanging to his club of hair behind; a feather fan in one hand, and in 
the other a mirror in which he contemplated himself every few minutes. 
These with the variety and brilliancy of the colors upon his face, the 
suitable choice and application of which occupied no small portion of 
the hours allotted to his toilet, made up the equipment of young Four 


"This devotion to dress and appearance seemed not altogetlier out 
of place in a youthful dandy; but we had likewise an old one of the 
same stamp. Pawnee Blanc, or the White Pawnee, surpassed his younger 
competitor, if possible, in attention to his personal attractions. Upon 
the present occasion he appeared in all his finery, and went through the 
customary salutations with an air of solemn dignity, and then walked, 
as did the other, into the parlor (for I had received them in the hall), 
where they all seated themselves on the floor. 

' ' Fortunately the room was not bare of furniture, but ' Alas ! ' thought 
I, 'for my pretty cai'pet if this is to be the way they pay their I'espects 
to me ! ' I watched the falling of their ashes from their long pipes, and 
the other inconveniences of the use of tobacco, or kin-ni-kin-nic, with 
absolute dismay." 

Yellow Thunder, L.\st Winnebago War Chief 

Some years after Jlrs. Kinzie wrote these descriptions of the best 
known Winnebago leaders of the very early times, Yellow Thunder 
(Mi-ja-jin-a-ka) commenced to come into notice, and for years was the 
Good Indian of Columbia County. Those who knew him in his younger 
years admired his poise and unfailing kindness to white and red, and 
as the j^ears went by, and his character never changed, he became an 
object of general pride and love. Yellow Thunder, who died in 1874, 
was the last war chief of the Winnebagoes and, as such, aside from the 
steadfastness and nobility of his character, has a high place among the 
historical figures of Wisconsin. 

Among those who knew this noble red man longest and best was the 
late Mrs. Lydia A. Flanders, of Portage, who contributes the following : 


By Mrs. Lydia A. Flanders 

The red i-aces are passing away before the silent but irresistible 
spread of civilization. The tenure of Indian sovereignty is as pre- 
carious as the habitation of the deer, his co-tenant of the forest. Their 
gradual displacement is as inevitable as the progress of events. A por- 
tion of the Indian family is destined to a citizenship with ourselves: 
but this can only be accomplished by the adoption of agricultural pur- 
suits and the diffusion of knowledge among them. At no distant day 
the war shout of the Red man will fall away into eternal silence upon 
the shores of the distant Pacific. Industry will then have taken up 
her abode in the seclusion of the forest. The church will rise upon the 


ruins of the Council House: the railway will then pursue the distant 
trail: the plough-shares turn the sod of the hunting ground, and the 
continuous hum of industry will rise from ocean to ocean when the 
destiny of the Indian is thus fulfilled. The words of the Great Seneca 
orator (Honauous or "Farmer's Brother") will rise up in perpetual 
membrance, "Who then, lives to mourn us? None. What works our 
extermination? Nothing." — Third Annual Report of the Regents of 
N. Y. University, Historical and Antiquarian Collection. 

It is a matter of rejoicing among humane and fair-minded people 
that the sentiment "the only good Indian is a dead Indian," is no 
longer accepted, and less frequently heard. 

History records the first lessons taught our savage brothers. These 
were lessons of deceit, dishonesty, and intemperance. They were apt 
scholars, and after half a century of personal observation of the rela- 
tions between the white man and the Indian, we are fain to lean, in 
charity, to the side of the latter. Adding to their savage natures these 
grosser elements of civilization, can we expect the product to be one 
with nice or even moderate distinctions ? Our attitude toward them now 
should be governed by this knowledge and their helplessness. Herbert 
Spencer's oft quoted line "The survival of the fittest," if applied to the 
Indian, is a compliment to the white man which is capable of exceptions, 
and the sentiment is modified when treating of individuals. "Noble 
red man," so often ironically quoted, is certainly not a flight of roman- 
tic fancy, but a knowable and veritable ia<tt. 

More than fifty years ago, when a child of nine years, I wandered 
one October day, a short distance from my home, then a settler's cabin. 
Glancing along the trail, I saw an Indian approaching. Terrorized and 
unable to move, I stared, but did not utter a sound. He approached 
nearer and held out his hand and in the most pleasant of voices said, 
"How? How?" I still felt unconvinced of my safety, even if the face 
before me was not at all formidable, and the expression one of extreme 
good nature, and murmuring something that I suppose was meant as a 
farewell, he passed on. That was my introduction to Chief Yellow 
Thunder, and the beginning of a friendship which lasted many years, 
in fact, to the time of his death. 

On a stream of water flowing through my father's farm and near 
the point made memorable by Mrs. Kinzie in that most delightful book 
"Wau-Bun," is an old-time camping ground of the Indians. On the 
outside curve of this stream, on a slight elevation thickly covered with 
trees, is where, on their journeys to and from Madison, where they went 
for their annuity, they camped sometimes for days and often for weeks, 


hunting, fishing, and some of the tribes begging, in which last mentioned 
pastime, however, our Chief did not in the slightest degree participate. 

Combined with the dignity of his bearing was an air of self-respect, 
which enveloped him as a mantle. He was tall and well proportioned, 
with a hand that was shapely and slender and a voice deep and clear, 
devoid of the gutterals or sharpness which is characteristic of the voices 
of many of these people. 

He was not in the least affected by his visit to AVashington, which 
was made about the year 1838. Such was not the ease however, with 
his wife, who was greatly set up by her traveled experience. Apparently 
with him it was a natural event, of which he talked freely : with her it 
was greatness achieved: with him a part of the expected: with her one 
more feather in her head-band, and ever after she demanded the greatest 
deference from her people, as well as the title "I\Iadam Washington." 

Whenever any of the tribe partook too freely of fire-water the old 
chief ordered them tied and a guard set, but when this disgrace came 
to his own dwelling, in the person of his wife, he took himself off, no 
one knew whence or whither, until ([uiet and order were again restored 
to his household. 

I never saw him in paint or feathers. A small braid of hair near 
the crown, into which a small black ribbon was woven, was all his head 
ornament. Otherwise he wore his hair as did the white man, parted on 
the left side and brushed to the right. His garments were veiy similar 
to the white man's in fashion though not in texture, except that his 
blanket was always a part of his apparel. He was a firm believer in 
noble lineage, and rupudiated any and all the so-called "Chiefs," who 
found their way to back doors, or in fact to any doors, to beg, and in 
an apologetic manner told my father that his wife was a tribes-woman, 
meaning not his equal, though always appearing kind and courteous to 
her. Incidentally she was the hewer of wood and the drawer of water, 
as well as the doer of all other menial tasks. His affair was to furnish 
the game, hers to see that it was prepared, either for cooking or, if 
peltries, stretched and drying. 

Few there are living today who can tell of good deeds and courtesies 
extended to them by this son of the wilderness, but many there were 
who could during our long acquaintance with him. Many times he 
cheered and sheltered lost and belated settlers, and when wishing to 
return the value of some favor it was sent by the hand of his wife, who. 
I grieve to say, often tried to bargain his generosity by the gain of some- 
thing for herself. Once he engaged a settler to carry himself, wife, and 
belongings to their home near Delton. The conveyance was a wagon 
into whicli their outfit was piled, and among these she, of Wa.shington 


fame, calmly seated herself. Not so the Chief. He sat beside the driver 
erect and dignified and appeared not to see how unprincesslike was the 
position she had assumed. 

Always on approaching my father's house he gave some signal, per- 
haps a few light taps on the porch or door and never did he enter with- 
out permission and a word of welcome, something he was sure of from 
all its inmates. 

His instincts were gentle and had fortune placed him among the 
' ' fittest ' ' he would readily have been recorded as one of nature 's noble- 
men, a title, knowing him as I did, I cheerfully accord him. 

As years came on apace, his visits to the old camping ground be- 
came more rare and finally ceased altogether, followed in February, 
1874, by the tidings of his death, sincerely mourned by many of the 
early settlers as well as by his own people. I am glad to chronicle the 
fact that a portrait of Yellow Thunder, done in oil, by the distinguished 
artist, S. D. Coates, hangs in the gallery of the Wisconsin Historical 
Society, with many others, whose names are prominently connected 
with the history of Wisconsin. 

Not very different from the white man's idea of Heaven is the 
thought of the place, in the mind of "poor Lo" of his state of future 
bliss, and truly he "sees his God in clouds and hears him in the wind, 
and thinks, when taken to that blessed land his faithful dog shall bear 
him company." 

By the report submitted to the House of Representatives, Septem- 
ber 17, 1850, it appears that about 900 of the Winuebagoes were forced 
from the Fort Winnebago region soon after the signing of the 1837 
treaty, while about 300 remained in the swamps, inaccessible to the two 
regiments of United States troops looking for them. In 1846 a new 
treaty was effected by which the Winnebagoes were to be moved about 
500 miles north of their allotted lands in Iowa. Some 1,300 did so in 
the summer of 1848, 400 lingering in Wisconsin and Iowa. In Febru- 
ary, 1850, quite a band of them located between the Bad Axe and Black 
rivers and became threatening and insolent; but they yielded to better 
councils. Other removals followed. 

Last Forced March of the Winnebagoes 

When, in 1837, the Winnebagoes disposed of all their lands east of 
the Mississippi to the United States, they stipulated that within eight 
months they would move west of the great river. As many of them 
delayed their departure under various pretenses, several forcible re- 
movals were effected by the Government working through the United 


States^ of America. The last of these enforced departures occurred two 
days fiefore the Christmas of 1873. Early in the morning of that day 
Captain S. A. Hunt and ex-Sheriff Pool crossed the old Wisconsin 
River bridge at Portage, heading a detachment of United States troops. 
The little expedition was bound for the Baraboo River, where, near 
the Crawford bridge, a considerable number of "Winnebagoes had gath- 
ered for a feast and an annual meeting. 

Almost every lodge for forty miles around had its delegate. The 
Winnebagoes (Bagoes, as they were called) had pooled their wigwams, 
their feathers, their paint, their wampum, and were having a hilarious 
time when their pow-wow was interrupted by the appearance of the 
uninvited boys in blue. Of course the greatest consternation prevailed, 
for the Indians knew at once that they must follow the bulk of their 
tribe to the reservation in Nebraska. A parley followed, and as the 
Bagoes refused to be persuaded by mildness, they were surrounded by 
Captain Hunt's men and made prisoners to the number of nearly a 

With as little delay as possible the captives were arranged in march- 
ing order and just before noon, with their families and all their festive 
paraphernalia, sullenlj^ wound over the hill near the Catholic Church, 
escorted by the United States troops. They were marched to the depot, 
safely lodged in the cars, and a full supply of rations dealt out to them. 

After thej' had been housed, Captain Hunt set about to inform him- 
self whether any of his captives had become real estate owners, or had 
done anything else to show that they had abandoned their tribal rela- 
tions and were entitled to remain as citizens. Inquiry was made for 
Yellow Thunder, Good Village, War Club, Snake Swallow, MeWima 
and Pretty Man, but it was found that only two of them were among 
the captives and they were allowed to depart. John Little John and 
High Snake were taken with the more common Winnebagoes. Although 
not legally entitled to remain, as their characters were quite warmly 
upheld by a number of respectable citizens, they were informed that 
they could return to Columbia county later, if they so desired. The 
ponies and all the other "traps" belonging to the Indians were then 
collected and loaded into the baggage cars, and at 6 o'clock the train 
was under way for Sparta, IMonroe County, which was to be the point 
of rendezvous for all the Winnebagoes gathered in by Captain Hunt, 
who was the official government agent for the removal of members of 
the tribe who still remained in Southern Wisconsin. 

Sunday and Monday were busy days and nights for ex-Sheriff Pool, 
his specialty being the collection of the scjuaws and families of the 
Winnebago braves who had not accompanied their lords to the Baraboo 


celebration. A writer of that time and event puts the matter thus: 
"As an Indian dance is very like a white man's frolic in some of its 
characteristics, it was not a matter of sui*prise to learn that a number of 
braves were alone at this dance, while the squaws were doing the menial 
work of housekeeping at home and attending to the papooses. Now 
Big Jim was just one of that kind, and several others might be named, 
but out of respect for their families we will not put their names in 
print. The circumstances, however, made it necessary for Captain Hunt 
to dispatch Mr. Pool and other messengers for their families, which 
were at Briggsville (Marquette County, just above the Columbia line) 
and other places. By Monday evening Mr. Pool had two or three dozen 
of them congregated here, and on Tuesday evening they were forwarded 
to Sparta." It would thus appear that the Christmas festivities of the 
Winnebagoes were rather rudely disturbed in 1873. As we have seen, 
their beloved and venerable chief, Yellow Thunder, remained in Colum- 
bia County and died in the year following the last forcible removal of 
his people. 

As remarked by the late A. J. Turner, who has made such valuable 
contributions to the history of Columbia County, "this region con- 
tinues to be the abode of straggling bands of them, from whose camps 
the descendants of De Korra, Yellow Thunder and Mi-ja-jin-a-ka 
(Dixon) annually depart for the blueberry plains and cranberry marshes 
to replenish their finances, to trap rats on the Neenah in season and 
indulge in fire water out of season, but give no evidence of 'passing 
away. ' Lo is with us to stay. ' ' 

The Payment of 1914 

About the only chance now to see the remnant of the once powerful 
Winnebago tribe resident in Columbia County is to be in Portage at 
the time of an annuity payment. Fort Winnebago is no more and the 
old Indian agency house is a farm building, but the hundred or so red 
men, women and papooses hang around the banks of the city for twenty- 
four or forty-eight hours after receiving their annuities. Probably the 
last chance at the public crib there occurred at their payment of March, 

Pending the permanent settlement with the Indians of the United 
States an arbitrary allotment of $16,000 was granted to the Winne- 
bagoes of the district including Columbia County. As there are 1,285 
Indians altogether included in the allotment, $12.45 was paid to each 

They came early in the morning, from all points of the compass. 


and the main street of Portage was soon a little panorama of present- 
day Indians. Groups of gray-haired Winuebagoes dressed like farmers; 
middle-aged women with red and blue shawls wrapped around them, 
sometimes bundling up a big faced stolid papoose; and stocky, bow- 
legged, black haired young men and bright girls with glistening braids 
down their backs, dressed neatly and becomingly, hung around chilly 
corners, apparently doing next to nothing with solid satisfaction. Occa- 
sionally a couple of young sports would pass along the street, with up- 
to-date shoes, clothes, stick pins and all, and glance superciliously at 
the loungers, as they picked up their heels with the sprightliness of their 
young white brothers bound on countless pressing errands of pleasure 
and profit. "Boward evening and far into the next day, the Bagoes were 
still gloating over the attractions of Portage, as if very loth to turn 
their steps toward their eountiy homes; but they finally commenced to 
break ranks. The squaws came out of bakeries loaded with bread and 
cakes and looked up and down the street — evidently for the heads of 
families. By twos and threes the women and men straggled away to- 
ward the outskirts ; sometimes a family intact, but more often paired off 
and segregated according to sex — men with men and women with 
women. It may be that this will be the last gathering of the Columbia 
County Winuebagoes. If it is, we wish them good luck, for, ou the 
whole, they have been a credit to their race, and their leaders have 
furnished our white citizens with not a few examples of gentleness, 
courtesy and sustained strength of character which might well be emu- 
lated by all, irrespective of color or human family. 


LAGE? — JoLiET AND Marquette Pass the Portage — Memorlil at 
THE Place of Crossing — Hennepin at the Portage — LaSalle and 
Jonathan Carver — Visits op United States Soldiers — Traders 
AND Carriers. 

Was Jean Nieolet, the great French explorer, the first white visitor 
to Cohimbia County, in 1643 ? Page upon page has been written on this 
question, most of tlie controversy raging around a sentence in the 
"Jesuit Relations" of 1640, which reads: "The Sieur Nieolet, who has 
penetrated the furthest into these so remote countries, assured me that 
if he had sailed three days further upon a large river which issues from 
this lake he would have reached the sea." The main point of the dis- 
pute hovers over the word ' ' sea ; " as to whether it means the large body 
of water we now know as the Wisconsin, or the Father of Waters, the 

Nicolet and Columbia County 

The weight of doubt is against the probability that Nicolet reached 
the Mississippi, but those who believe that he reached the portage be- 
tween the Fox and Wisconsin rivers in Columbia County, reason along 
the lines of that good authority and earnest man, the late A. J. Turner. 
In his "Family Tree of Columbia County" he says: "It is morally 
certain that he (Nicolet) did not depart from the Mascouten village, 
wherever located, to make an overland trip to some point on the 
Mississippi, when a much easier trip by water was at hand, which would 
have taken him through Columbia County. But even if he did make 
an overland journey, the trail from the Mascouten village would have 
taken him through Columbia County, for a well-defined Indian 
trail on the west bank of the Fox River to the Four Lakes region has 


been knowu to exist for more than a century, and it has not been wholly 
obliterated to this day (written in 1904), I am assured by those who 
knew it well half a century^ ago." 

Where Was the Mascouten Yill.vge? 

Yolumes have been written over the location of the Mascouten vil- 
lage visited by Father Dablon in 1670, and the one at which Father 
AUouez established a mission in May, 1672. It is reasonably certain 
that the mission was fovmded in the large village mentioned in the 
"Relations" of 1670-1, and placed on a map published in that volume 
as three leagues from the portage. In June of the following year (1673) 
Joliet and Marquette visited the Allouez mission en route to the Wis- 
consin and the Mississippi. Various historians have placed the village 
all the way from northern Winnebago County to northern Columbia 
County, one of the latest investigators being firm in his conviction 
that it was near Governor's Bend, town of Fort Winnebago, on the 
west bank of the Fox River, on Section 16 — three French leagues from 
the portage, as Marquette had written. 

At least, a discovery of September, 1903, seems to point to the fact 
that this locality had been visited by traders or Jesuits. At the time 
mentioned, James Kirwin, of Portage, while digging along the banks 
of the river, uncovered a sun dial similar to the one found near Green 
Bay in the previous year and which Secretary Reuben G. Thwaites, of 
the Wisconsin State Historical Society, says "may have belonged to 
some fur trader or missionary." 

"So it seems to me," says Turner, "the most reasonable theory that 
the Maseoutens village first visited by Dablon in 1670 was but one of 
the smaller outlying ones, and that the main village where Allouez 
established a mission two years later, which was visited by Marquette 
in 1673, was where he located it, three leagues from the portage. 

"If we may conclude then that such was the fact, we find there 
every condition referred to by Marquette. He says: 'As we ap- 
proached the Mashkoutons, the Fire Nation, I had the curiosity to drink 
the mineral waters of the river which is not far from the town. ' Turn- 
ing aside from his ascent of the Fox he would, by running up the Nee- 
nah creek a little more than half a mile come to a famous spring on 
section 8 near Corning Station. Continuing his narrative Marquette 
wrote: 'I also took time to examine an herb, the virtue of which an 
Indian who po.ssessed the secret had, with many ceremonies, made 
known to Father Alloues. Its root is useful against the bite of serpents, 
the Almighty having been pleased to give this remedy against a poison 











^ k.f' 


4- ^ 

^^^.:^ k&i-»,^ 


^ -*-' '> W 


JIarquette Voyaging Toward the Mississippi 


very common in this country. * * » i put some into my canoe to 
examine it at leisure whUe we went on our way toward Maskoutons 
where we arrived on the 7th of June. Here we are then at Maskoutons. ' 

"The most famous spring in the Fox River vaUey, of which I have 
any knowledge — for I assume that the 'mineral waters of the river' of 
which Marquette speaks, are those of a spring or a rivulet discharged 
from a spring — is that above alluded to, near Corning Station. As it 
flows across the morass a few rods to discharge into the Neenah the 
medical herb, Gilliana Trifoliata, or Indian Snake Root, Marquette re- 
fers to as an antedote for the snake bite, will be found in abundance. 

' ' It would seem that every traveler, who crossed the portage in early 
times, did so with an awe of the serpent, for I have never read one of 
their accounts in which the numerous serpens a sonnettes they saw 
were not abundantly referred to, although I believe none of them ever 
recorded any unhappy experiences with them beyond their disagreeable 
presence. At all events Marquette provided himself with the herb, as 
most fishermen do with something when they go into dangerous places 
inhabited bj- the tenants of the pool. So, fortified with herbs, ^Marquette 
returned to his canoe and proceeded on his way to the village 'not far 
away.' Reaching it he exclaims 'Here we are then, at Maskoutons.' 
There is no mention made of having to walk 'a short league' to reach 
it, as Dablon had, so one would conclude that it was situated on the 
immediate banks of the river. 

' ' The fact is not to be overlooked that the village may have been on 
the Neenah instead of the Fox, for many of the earliest maps show the 
Neenah as a portion of the Fox, and the latter river from the .junction 
of the two streams was considered as an affluent of the Fox, instead of 
a portion of it." 

JoLiET AND Marquette Pass the Portage 

The arrival of Joliet, Marquette and his party at the village of the 
Ma.scoutens was on the 7th of June, 1673, and their departure on the 
]Oth. Joliet represented the intendant of Canada and the king; Mar- 
quette, the Jesuits and the church. To the follower of St. Ignatius fell 
the task of recording secretary for the expedition. "We knew," vtTote 
Father Marquette, "that there was, three leagues from Maskoutens, a 
river entering into the Mississippi; we knew, too, that the point of the 
compass we were to hold to reach it was west-southwest, but the way is 
so cut up by marshes and little lakes that it is easy to go astray, espe- 
cially as the river leading to it is so covered with wild oats that you 
can hardly discover the channel. Hence we had good need of our two 


Miami guides, who led us safely to a portage of 2,700 paces 
and helped us to transport our canoes to enter this river, after 
which they returned, leaving us alone in an unknown country in the 
hands of Providence. 

"We now leave the waters which flow to Quebec, a distance of from 
four or five hundred leagues, to follow those which will henceforth 
lead us into strange lands. Before embarking we all began together a 
new devotion to the Blessed Virgin Immaculate, which we practiced 
every day, addressing her particular prayers, to put under her protec- 
tion both our persons and the success of our voyage. Then, after having 
encouraged one another we got into our canoes. The river on which 
we embarked is called Meskousing; it is very broad, with a sandy bot- 
tom forming many shallows which render navigation very difficult. It 
is full of vine-clad islets. On the banks appear fertile lands, diversified 
with wood, prairie and hill. Here you find oaks, walnut, whitewood, 
and another kind of tree with branches armed with thorns. We saw no 
small game or fish, but deer and moose in considerable numbers." 

Several days after leaving the village of the Mascoutens, Joliet and 
Martjuette, with their Indian guides, crossed the portage between the 
Fox and Wisconsin rivers, and about June 14. 1673, launched their 
canoes on the broad bosom of the Wisconsin, and started on their his- 
toric voyage which resulted in New France and the vast expansion of 
interior America. 

Memorial at the Place of Crossing 

Waubun Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, which has 
achieved so much historically, commemorated the event May 9, 1902, 
by planting trees at either end of the portage, or Wauona. But neither 
the Marquette Tree nor the Joliet Tree seemed to thrive, and three 
years later the chapter presented the city of Portage with a fitting me- 
morial of red granite, rockfaced except on one side where this inscrip- 
tion appears: "This tablet marks the place near which Jacques Mar- 
quette and Louis Joliet entered the Wisconsin river, June 14, 1673. 
Erected by Waubun Chapter, D. A. R., 1905f ' The monument stands at 
the intersection of Bronson and Wisconsin streets, in the southern part 
of the city of Portage. 

The memorial to Marquette and Joliet was unveiled on the 19th of 
October, the anniversary of the surrender of Cornwallis, always ob- 
served by the Daughters of the American Revolution with significant 
exercises of some kind. Rain interfered with out-of-door exercises, 
but the court room was filled with local and state celebrities, and from 


the addresses of a number of eloquent speakers we select the following 
striking words uttered by Dr. Frederick J. Turner, then of the Uni- 
versity of Wisconsin ; ' ' not only did religion enter the Mississippi valley 
with the advent of Marquette but in the presence of Joliet at Portage 
the power of France, the greatest nation of the time under Louis 
XIV, the great monarch, passed into the Mississippi valley. Already in 
1671 at Sault Ste. ilarie, France had laid claim to rights over the river 
system of which the Indians had made report, but which as yet had 
not been explored. But now in the person of these daring wanderers 
France justified her claims to one of the greatest and richest regions 
of the globe — a domain for which in later years England, Spain and 
the United States contended by diplomacy and by arms, until another 
Frenchman, the antithesis of Marquette, the great Napoleon, gave the 
Louisiana territory to the United States 

"Joliet was the' leader of the expedition, the bearer of the 'sword of 
the flesh,' but Marquette, gentle, courageous, enduring, the bearer of 
the 'sword of the spirit,' was its hero. With the energy of the man of 
action he had the ideals of the poet, the devotion of the saint. He per- 
sonified the highest type of the discoverer, the man who carries' into 
the darkness of the wilderness, into the utter night of savagery, the light 
of spiritual civilization. Loyalty to duty, courage, aspiration for the 
highest things, were ilarquette 's. Over two hundred years have passed 
since the frail priest trod this portage path. Six generations of men 
have passed here since then. But in all these years no man at Portage 
has struck a higher note of devotion and loftier ideals than the first 
man who trod the ground where now we stand. 

"Wisconsin has fittingly honored his memory by placing his statue 
in the national capital. He was one of the choice spirits driven by a 
divine discontent with the narrow confines of things about him, to 
widen the horizon, to push back the unknown, to add new realms for 
the human spirit. And while he followed the gleam into empires 
hitherto unknown, he left U7idone no humble service to the lowliest of 
the savages to whom he ministered. Burning as was his ambition to 
find new lands, his consecration to the daily duty was no less ardent. 

"When we mark this spot we honor a man as well as an event. We 
testify our veneration for those whose lives spell service to their fellow 

Henvepin at the Port.vge 

Not many years elapsed after the visit of Joliet, Marquette and 
their companions to the portage, before the narrow neck of land be- 


tween the Fox and Wisconsin rivers was again crossed by civilized man. 
In 1680 Louis Hennepin, a Recollet friar, and his party, as a detail 
from La Salle's expedition to the Illinois, reached the portage. He 
was on his way from the upper Mississippi to the Great Lakes, passing 
up the Wisconsin and down the Pox River, on his way to Green Bay, 
and speaks of it thus: "After we had rowed about seventy leagues 
upon the river Ouisconsin, we came to the place where we were forced 
to carry our canoe for half a league. We lay at this place all night and 
left marks of our having been there by the crosses which we cut in the 
bark of the trees. Next day, having carried our canoe and the rest of 
our little equipage over this piece of land, we entered upon a river which 
makes almost as many meanders as that of the Illinois at its rise." 

La S.UjLE and Jonathan Carver 

La Salle and his party made the portage in 1683, on his way to 
the Mississippi, and in 1766, Jonathan Carver, a noted English traveler, 
passed it from the East on his way to St. Anthony Palls, on the far 
upper Mississippi. After describing the Fox River, Winnebago Lake, 
and all the Indian tribes along his course, he says: "The carrying 
place between the Pox and Ouisconsin rivers is in breadth not more 
than a mile and three-quarters, though in some maps it is so delineated 
as to appear to be ten miles. Near one-half of the way between the 
rivers is a morass overgrown with a kind of long grass; the rest of it, 
a plain with some few oak and pine trees growing thereon. I observed 
here a great number of rattle snakes. I observed that the main body 
of the Pox River came from the southwest, that of the Ouisconsin from 
the northeast; and also that some of the small branches of the two 
rivers, in descending into them, doubled within a few feet of each 
other, a little to the south of the carrying place. That two such rivers 
should take their rise so near each other and, after running such differ- 
ent courses, empty themselves into the sea at a distance so amazing is 
an instance scarcely to be met in the extensive continent of North 

Visits of United States Soldiers 

Major S. H. Long paid the portage a visit both in 1817 and 1823, 
being the head of a Government expedition of exploration and discovery. 
In 1819 the Fifth Regiment of United States Infantry made the portage 
on its way from Port Howard to Port Crawford, and its commander, 
Capt. Henry Whiting, says in one of his reports: "The portage 


between the Fox and Wisconsin rivers is about 2,500 yards; the road 
runs over a marshy prairie. There is a Frenchman (Francis Le Roy) 
residing on the rising ground between the rivers. He keeps the proper 
transportation for boats and baggage. The limestone bluffs and high- 
lands begin on the Wisconsin about eight miles below the portage." 

In 1826 a flotilla of thirty-five boats carrying the Third United 
States Infantry from Green Bay to St. Louis, passed the portage, and 
in the following year General Cass came that way during his voyage 
of investigation to ascertain the feeling among the Winnebagoes toward 
the United States Government. 

Traders and Carriers 

Enterprising and well-knowTi fur traders from Green Bay were 
also familiar with the portage and with the Fox and Wisconsin rivers 
in Columbia County. But long before, even prior to the opening of 
the nineteenth century, a number of French Canadians and half-breeds, 
with a few of fairly pure Italian blood, located at or near the portage 
to assist in the land transportation between the two rivers, to supply 
provisions to travelers or to trade with anybody who came along. Some 
of them lived in the vicinity for years; others were mere adventurers 
and rovers. 

The first to appear on the ground M^ere Laurant Barth and family, 
French Canadians who had passed the winter of 1792-3 on the St. 
Croix River of Northern Wisconsin. On his return to Canada, in the 
spring of 1793, Barth stopped at the portage and obtained permission 
from the Indians to transport goods at the carrjang place. On 
his arrival he built a cabin there, the first to be erected by a white man 
in Columbia County. Its location was on the low land between the 
Fox and Wisconsin, probably within the present limits of Portage 
southeast of the canal. In the following year to avoid the high-water 
floods he removed to higher ground and continued the transportation 
business in a small way for a number of years. 

Soon after the arrival of Barth, came the famous old Indian chief, 
De Korra, who founded a village for his Winnebago followers about 
eight miles above the portage on the east side of the Fox River, in what 
is now Section 10, town of Fort Winnebago. Its side afterwards be- 
came known as Waggoner's Bluff. 

In 1798 came John Lecuyer, a brother-in-law of De Korra, who 
improved upon Barth 's declining enterprise. The pioneer transporter 
of boats and goods had used but a single horse and cart ; but, after ob- 
taining authority from the Winnebagoes, Lecuyer bought several teams 


and wagons. About 1803 the latter bought, as he supposed, all of Earth's 
rights in the business, but afterward found that they covered only the 
west end of the portage. After some trouble with Earth's sons who 
held the east end to the route, Leeuyer died in 1810, and his widow 
continued the business until the War of 1812. Her son-in-law, Francis 
Le Roy, of Green Bay, then assumed the enterprise, and about the same 
time the elder Earth died, he having removed to Prairie du Chien. 

As we have seen, Le Roy was still at the portage in 1819, and there 
he continued in business for several years longer. When the Fifth 
U. S. Infantry called upon his transportation outfit in that year, he 
was charging $10 for taking a boat from one river to another, and 
fifty cents per one hundred pounds of goods. 

During the years of which we have been writing the portage was 
a point of consequence as a trading post. Earth kept no goods for sale 
to the Indians after he had disposed of the remnant of stock which he 
brought from the St. Croix, but Lecuj'er always kept a considerable 

But although it had been evident for many years that sometime 
there was to be a growing and stable settlement at the portage, it was 
not until the building of Fort Winnebago and the assurance of safe 
residence in the locality that real settlers — men of stable character and 
of constructive value to the community — commenced to look upon 
Columbia County as a fit abiding place for white people and their 



The "Winnebago Uprising — The Pursuit of Red Bird — Voluntary 
Surrender op the Chief — The Magnificent Red Bird — Begs Not 
TO BE Put in Irons — Red Bird Gives Away His Life — De Korea 
AS Red Bird's Hostage — Fort Winnebago and "A Party Named 
Astor" — The Coming op Major Twiggs — Ground Broken for 
THE Fort — Completed — Amusements at the Post— Noted Men 
AND Women at the Fort — Lieutenant and Mrs. Van Cleve — 
Henry Merrell — Evacuated — Final Dissolution. 

The Winnebago and Black Hawk wars were of much importance to 
Columbia County, albeit neither murders nor military engagements 
occurred within its boundaries. Each covered but a few months of 
time, but the Winnebago uprising under Red Bird called forcible atten- 
tion to the exposed condition of settlers and travelers in Southern Wis- 
consin along the Fox and Wisconsin valleys and hastened the con- 
struction of the fort at the portage, while the hostilities of the Sacs 
under Black Hawk raged all around Winnebago and so threatened 
the security of Southern Wisconsin that the national government felt 
obliged to crush all Indian pretensions forever. The final result of 
Black Hawk's defeat was apparent within a few years by the session of 
all the lands east of the Mississippi held by the really dangerous tribes. 
Within a few months after Black Hawk was crushed at the battle of 
the Bad Axe, in August, 1832, the General Government commenced its 
surveys of Wisconsin lands in earnest. 

The lands lying east and south of the Wisconsin River were sur- 
veyed in 1832, 1833 and 1834, and were placed in two land districts — 
the offices were at Green Bay and Mineral Point, Columbia County fall- 
ing within the Green Bay District. Public sales of the surveyed lands 
were held in 1835, the first land entries for this section of the state being 
made in the following year. 



The Winnebago Uprising 

As stated, the result of the Winnebago and Black Hawk wars to 
Columbia County was to make it habitable to pioneers of settled and 
industrious habits. Yet there are certain phases of both uprisings 
which are of intense interest. In the case of the Winnebago uprising 
of June-August, 1827, the most dramatic episode, the surrender of Red 
Bird to Maj. William Whistler, who commanded the Government 
troops at the portage, belongs to the history of Columbia County. The 
conflicts between the Chippewas and Winnebagoes in the early part of 
the year, and the murder of the Gagniers, father and child, in June, 
by Red Bird, We-Kaw and another Indian, occurred in the Mississippi 
Valley, the latter near Prairie du Chien. The attack, a little later, led 
by Red Bird and his drunken band upon the boats returning from Fort 
Snelling, whither they had taken goods and provisions for the gar- 
rison, occi:rred at the mouth of the Bad Axe River in Vernon County, 
not far from Black Hawk's defeat five years afterward. 

Great was the alarm at Prairie du Chien when the bullet-riddled 
boats arrived, two dead and several badly wounded being stowed away 
out of sight and protected from the desecration of the savages. An 
express was immediately sent to Galena and another to Fort Snelling, 
while messengers were dispatched to General Atkinson at Jefferson 
Barracks (St. Louis) and to Major Whistler, at Fort Howard. The 
people near Prairie du Chien left their houses and farms and crowded 
panic-stricken into the dilapidated fort. 

The Pursuit of Red Bird 

After committing the murders and the attack upon the transports. 
Red Bird and the other Indians implicated fled up the Wisconsin 
River, and a mounted force composed of volunteers from Galena and 
troops which had been dispatched from Fort Snelling scoured both 
sides of that stream to the portage. But they caught no sight of Red 
Bird or his party. 

Several weeks later General Atkinson got into communication with 
Major Whistler, who was ordered to proceed up the Fox to the portage 
with all the troops at his disposal. He arrived on the 1st of Sept., 
1827, and General Atkinson arrived soon after. Major Whistler had 
not been long at the portage before an Indian came to his tent and 
informed him that at about three o'clock of the next day "they will 
come in." In reply to the question, "Who will come in?" he said 
"Red Bird and We-Kaw." After making this answer, he retired by 


the way he came. At 3 o'clock the same day another Indian came, 
took position in nearly the same place and, in reply to questions, gave 
the same solemn promise. At sundown a third came, confirming what 
the two had said, adding that he had, to secure that object, given to the 
families of the murderers nearly all his property, 

A company of Oneida and Stockbridge Indians accompanied Major 
Whistler's troops, and were encamped on the bluff opposite the portage 
where Fort Winnebago was subseriuently built to await the arrival of 
General Atkinson. In the meantime the Winnebagoes to the number 
of several hundred, were encamped on the ridge where Cook street 
now runs, west of the Catholic Church. The Winnebagoes had heard 
of the General's approach before it was known to Major Whistler. 

Voluntary Surrender op the Chief 

On the day following the visit of the three mysterious Indians to 
Major Whistler, a great stir was noticed in the Winnebago camp, and 
by the aid of a field glass the troops discovered a party of about thirty 
warriors on an eminence in the distance. The remainder of the story is 
told by Col. Thomas L. McKenney, who was present with Major Whists 
ler's command at the surrender of Red Bird: "At about noon of 
the day following, there was seen descending a mound on the portage 
(Ketchum's Point) a body of Indians — some were mounted and some 
were on foot. By the aid of a glass we could discern the direction to be 
toward our position, and that three flags were borne by them — two, one 
in front and one in the rear, were American, and one in the center was 
white. They bore no arms. * * * In the course of half an hour 
they had approached within a short distance of the crossing of the 
Fox River, when on a sudden we heard a singing. Those who were 
familiar with the air said: 'It is a death song!' Wlien still nearer, 
some present who knew him said : ' It is Red Bird singing his death 
song I' The moment a halt was made on the margin of the river, pre- 
paratory to crossing, two scalp yells were heard. The Menominees 
and other Indians who had accompanied vis, were lying carelessly 
about upon the ground regardless of what was going on, but when the 
scalp yells were uttered they sprang as one man to their feet, seized 
their rifles and were ready for battle. They were at no loss to know 
that the yells were 'scalp yells' but they had not heard with sufficient 
accuracy to decide whether they indicated scalps to be taken or given, 
but doubtless inferred the first. 

"Barges were sent across to receive, and an escort of military to 
accompany them within our lines. The white flag which had been seen 


in the distance was borne by Red Bird. * * * And now the advance 
of Indians had reached half up the ascent of the bluff, on which was 
our encampment, and order being called, Car-a-mau-nee spoke, saying: 
'They are here — like braves they have come in — treat them as braves — 
do not put them in irons.' * * * The military had been previously 
drawn out in line. The Menominee and Oneida Indians were in groups 
iipon their haunches on our left flank. On the right was the band of 
music, a little in advance of the line. In front of the center, at about 
ten paces distant, were the murderers. On their right and left were 
those who had accompanied them, forming a semi-circle; the magnifi- 
cent Red Bird, and the miserable We-Kau, a little in advance of the 

The Magnificent Red Bird 

"All eyes were fixed upon Red Bird; and well they might be, for 
of all the Indians I ever saw he was, without exception, the most perfect 
in form, in face and gesture. In height he was about six feet, straight, 
but without restraint. His proportions were those of the most exact 
symmetry, and these embraced the entire man, from his head to his 
feet. His very fingers were models of beauty. I never beheld a face 
that was so full of all the ennobling and at the same time the most 
winning expression. It were impossible to combine with such a face 
the thought that he who wore it could be a murderer. It appeared to 
be a compound of grace and dignity, of firmness and decision, all temp- 
pered with mildness and mercy. During my attempted analysis of this 
face I could not but ask myself, 'Can this man be a murderer? Is he 
the same who shot, scalped and cut the throat of Gagnier?' His head, 
too — sure, no head was ever so well formed. There was no ornament- 
ing of the hair, after the Indian fashion; no clubbing it up in blocks 
and rollers of lead on bands of silver; no loose or straggling parts, but 
it was cut after the best fashion of the most civilized. His face was 
painted, one side red, the other intermixed with green and white. 
Around his necTj he wore a collar of blue wampum, beautifully mixed 
with white, which was sewn on to a piece of cloth, the width of the 
wampum being about two inches, whilst the claws of the panther or 
wildcat, distant from each other about a quarter of an inch, with their 
points inward, formed the rim of the collar. Around his neck were 
hanging strands of wampum of various lengths, the circles enlarging 
as they descended. He was clothed in a Yankton dress — new and 
beautiful. The material was of dressed elk or deer skin, almost a pure 
white. It consisted of a jacket, the sleeves being cut to fit his finely 


formed arm, and so as to leave outside of the seam that ran from the 
shoulder, back of the arm and along over the elbow, about six inches 
of the material, one-half of which was cut into fringe; the same kind 
of fringe ornamenting the collar of the jacket, its sides, bosom and 
termination, which was not circular, but cut into points, and which also 
ran down the seams of the leggins, these being made of the same 
material. Blue beads were employed to vary and enrich the fringe of 
the leggins. On his feet he wore moccasins. 

"A piece of scarlet cloth about a quarter of a yard deep, and double 
that width, a slit being cut in its middle, so as to admit the passing 
through of his head, rested, one-half on his breast and beneath the 
necklace of wampum and claws, and the other on his back. On one 
shoulder and near his breast, was a beautifully ornamented feather, 
nearly white; and about opposite, on the other shoulder, was anoth^ 
feather, nearly black, near which were two pieces of thin shaven wood 
in the form of a compass, a little open, each about six inches long, 
richly -wTapped around with porcupine's quills, dyed yellow, red and 
blue. On the tip of one shoulder was a tuft of horse hair, dyed red, and 
a little curled, mixed up with ornaments. Across the breast, in a 
diagonal position, and bound tight to it, was his war pipe, at least 
three feet long, brightly ornamented with dyed horse hair, the feathers 
and bills of birds. In one of his hands he held the white tlag, and in 
the other the calumet, or pipe of peace. 

"There he stood — not a muscle moved, nor was the expression of his 
face changed a particle. He appeared to be conscious that, according 
to Indian law, and measuring the deed he had committed by the injus- 
tice and wrongs and cruelties of the white man, he had done no wrong. 
The light which had .shown in upon his bosom from the law, which 
demanded an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth, so harmonized 
with his conscience as to secure its repose. 

"As to death, he had been taught to despise it, confiding in that 
Heaven, that Spirit-land, where the game is always plenty, the forests 
always green, the waters always transparent, tranquil and pure, and 
where no evil thing is permitted to enter. He was therefore prepared 
to receive the blow that should consign his body to the ground and 
send his spirit to that blissful region to mingle with his fathers who had 
gone before him. He and We-Kau were told to sit down. His motions, 
as he seated himself, were no less graceful and captivating than when 
he stood or walked. At this moment the band struck up Pleyel's hymn. 
Everything was still. It was, indeed, a moment of intense interest to 
all. The Red Bird turned his eyes toward the band ; the notes operated 
upon his feelings in such a way as to produce in his countenance a 


corresponding pensiveness. The music having ceased, he took up his 
pouch (which I forgot to say was a handsomely ornamented otter skin, 
that hung on his left side,) and taking from it some kinnickinnic and 
tobacco, cut the latter in the palm of his hand, after the Indian fashion, 
then rubbing the two together filled the bowl of his calumet, struck fire 
into a bit of punk with his flint and steel, and lighted it and smoked. 
All the motions employed in this ceremony were no less harmonious 
and appropriate than had characterized his other movements. He sat 
after the Turkish fashion with his legs crossed. 

"If you think there was anything of affectation in all this, you are 
mistaken. There was just the manner, and appearance, and look, you 
would expect to see in a nobly built man of the highest order of intelli- 
gence, and who had been taught all the graces of motion, and then 
escorted by his armies to a throne, where the diadem was to be placed 
upon his head. * * * All sat except the speakers. The substance 
of what they said was: 

Begs Not to be Put in Irons 

"We were required to bring in the murderers. They had no power 
over any, except two — the third had gone away, and these had volun- 
tarily agreed to come in and give themselves up. As their friends, 
they had come with them. They hoped their white brothers would 
agree to accept the horses of which there were perhaps twenty, the 
meaning of which was, to take them in commutation for the lives of 
their two friends. They asked kind treatment for their friends, and 
earnestly besought that they might not be put in irons, and concluded 
by asking for a little tobacco and something to eat. They were 
answered, and told, in substance, that they had done well thus to come 
in. By having done so, they had turned away our guns, and saved 
their people. They were admonished against placing themselves in a 
like situation in the future ; and advised, when they were aggrieved, 
not to resort to violence, but to go to their agent, who would inform 
their Great Father of their complaints, and he would redress their 
grievance that their friends shoiild be treated kindly, and tried 
by the same laws by which their Great Father's white children were 
tried; that for the present, Red Bird and We-Kau should not be put 
in irons; that they should all have something to eat and tobacco to 
smoke. We advised them to warn their people against killing ours; 
and endeavored also to impress them with a proper notion of their own 
weakness, and the extent of our power, etc. 


Red Bird Gives Away His Life 

"Having heard this, the Red Bird stood up, the commanding ofiSeer, 
Maj. Whistler, a few paces in front of the center of the line, facing 
him. After a moment's pause, and a quick survey of the troops, and 
with a composed observation of his people, he said, looking at Maj. 
Wliistler : 

" 'I am ready.' Then advancing a step or two, he paused, saying: 
'I do not wish to be put in irons. Let me be free. I have given away 
my life — it is gone : ' stooping and taking some dust between his finger 
and thumb, and blowing it away, 'like that.' eyeing the dust as it fell 
and vanished from his sight: then adding: 'I would not take it back. 
It is gone.' 

"Having thus spoken, he threw his hands behind him, to indicate 
that he was leaving all things behind him, and marched briskly up to 
Ma.j. Whistler, breast to bi'east. A platoon was wheeled backwards 
from the center of the line, when Maj. Whistler stepping aside, the 
Red Bird and We Kau marched through the line, in charge of a file 
of men, to a tent that had been provided for them in the rear. " ' 

Colonel Childs, in his "Recollections of Wisconsin," thus describes 
Red Bird as he saw him on the same occasion : "He was dressed in fine 
style, having on a suit made of neatly-dried buffalo skins perfectly 
white, and as soft as a kid glove; and on each shoulder, to supply the 
place of an epaulette, was fastened a preserved red bird. Hence the 
name of this noted chief. Red Bird." 

The next spring after Red Bird's surrender, the noble looking chief, 
his miserablei looking accomplice, We-Kau, and another Winnebago 
prisoner were tried at Prairie du Chien by Judge J. D. Doty, who went 
from Green Bay by way of the portage. They were convicted and sen- 
tenced to be hung, December 26, 1828. but Red Bird died soon after- 
ward in prison, and a deputation of the tribe went to Washington to 
solicit pardon for the others. It is believed by many that the proud 
chief committed suicide. His companions of more common clay sur- 
vived and were pardoned by President Adams on the implied condition 
that the tribe would cede the lead lands of Southwestern Wisconsin 
then in possession of the miners. To this the Winnebagoes agreed. 

]Mme. Gagnier was compensated for the loss of her husband and 
the mutilation of her infant. At the treaty held at Prairie du Chien 
in 1829, provision was made for two sections of land to her and her two 
children, and the Government also agreed to pay her the sum of $50 
per annum for fifteen years, to be deducted from the annuity of the 
Winnebago Indians. 


De Korea as Red Bird's Hostage 

In connecting the Winnebago uprising and, Red Bird with the his- 
tory of Columbia County, the following story told of our old friend, 
De Korra, must not be omitted: It is said that soon after the attack 
upon the boats the militia of Prairie du Chien seized him as a hostage 
for the surrender of Red Bird. De Korra was informed that unless 
the latter should be placed in the hands of the Government within a 
specified time he would have to die in his place. A young Winnebago 
was sent to inform the tribe of the state of affairs, and several days 
elapsed without bringing any tidings of the whereabouts of the mur- 
derers. The day for the supposed vicarious execution was near at 
hand, when De Korra asked permission of Colonel Snelling to bathe in 
the river, as was his custom to improve his uncertain health. The 
commanding officer told him he might have that liberty and any other 
reasonable privilege, if he would promise on the honor of a chief that 
he would not leave town. De Korra thereupon gave his hand to the 
colonel, thanking him for his friendly act, and then solemnly raising 
his arms aloft promised to remain, adding that if he had a hundred 
lives he would sooner lose them all than break his word. He was then 
set at liberty. Many advised him to escape, but he steadfastly refused, 
complacently remaining at Prairie du Chien until the day before that 
named for his execution. Still nothing was heard promising the appre- 
hension of the murderers. On what he had every reason to believe was 
the day of his doom. General Atkinson arrived with his troops from 
Jefferson Barracks, the order for the execution was countermanded 
and De Korra was permitted to return to his home above the portage. 

Fort Winnebago and "A Party Named Astor" 

It is probable that John Jacob Aster had considerable to do with 
the building of Fort Winnebago. As before stated, a number of French 
Canadians had been engaged in trading and transportation at the 
portage for twenty years prior to the War of 1812. After hostilities 
with Great Britain had ceased the American Fur Company commenced 
to extend its operations, under the vigorous push of Mr. Astor, into 
the valleys of the Fox and Wisconsin. A trading post had been estab- 
lished at the portage for a number of years previous to the Winne- 
bago uprising, and Pierre Paucjuette, the energetic young man from 
St. Louis, who had already become widely known in the primitive 
activities of the region, was selected by Mr. Astor as the representa- 
tive of the American Fur Company at that point. About the time that 



ground was broken for the fort, in 1828, a visitor at the portage wrote 
to an Eastern correspondent that "a party named Astor had influenced 
the Government to establish a military post here to protect his trading 
post from the Indians."' 

The Coming of JIajor Twiggs 

Although Astor was then the richest man in America, it is not 
believed that his interests cut an overpowering figure in the selection 
of this locality as a military post. It was long recognized that the 
portage was one of the most important keys to the control of the 

Fort Winnebago (Near the Portage) in 1834 

Winnebagoes, and steps were taken accordingly. Under orders from 
the war department, Maj. David E. Twiggs started from Fort Howard 
with three companies and arrived at the portage September 7, 1828. 
The site selected for the fort was occupied by Francis LeRoy, the 
trader and carrier, and was on the east side of the Fox River immedi- 
ately opposite the portage. At the east end of the portage were a log 
house and barn, occupied by Pauquette. The other buildings com- 
prised the Indian agency fti which resided John H. Kinzie and his 
wife, and two huts occupied by half-breeds. 

At the west end of the portage were the three houses in which lived 
Perish Grignon and his wife (sister of De Korra), Lavoin Grignon, the 
son, and Leeuyer, the trader. These were the habitations at and near 
the portage when Major Twiggs and his three companies of soldiers 


founded old Fort Winnebago. Among his first lieutenants was one 
Jefferson Davis, and among his captains William S. Harney, after- 
ward so famous as an Indian fighter in Florida. 

Ground Broken for the Fort 

The soldiers came amply provided with provisions and prepared for 
winter. Major Twiggs, in the capacity of "boss carpenter," erected 
temporary barracks of tamarack logs, obtained principally from Pine 
Island in the Wisconsin, about six miles west of the portage. Active 
operations for the erection of the fort were soon in progress. To Lieu- 
tenant Davis and his party was assigned the task of going up the Yel- 
low River, a tributary of the Wisconsin, some fifty miles distant, and 
getting out the pine logs. These were rafted down in the spring, 
hauled across the portage with teams and wrought into proper form 
with whipsaw, broadax and adz. Another party was detailed to get 
out the needed stone from Stone Quarry Hill, the most abundant source 
of supply from which Portage City builders have ever drawn. The 
brick necessary for the chimneys were burned just opposite the "nar- 
rows." and near the present Wisconsin River bridge. The locality is 
still known as Armstrong's brick yard. Lime was burned near Pau- 
quette farm on the Bellefountain. 

Says Turner in his story of "Old Fort Winnebago:" "An enor- 
mous well was sunk in the very center of the scjuare, around which the 
usual fort buildings were constructed, and it has continued from its 
never-failing fountain to contribute to the comfort of the thirsty pil- 
grim until the present day; but a modern windmill now does the duty 
that was formerly so tedious and irksome. So all hands were busy. 
Officers, who in after years became distinguished in the war with 
Mexico, the Florida and other Indian wars, and the great conflict 
involving the perpetuity of our Union, planned and wrought with the 
common soldier in bringing into form the fort and the necessary accom- 
panying buildings. Stable, hospitals, bakeries, blacksmith shops, com- 
missary buildings, ice cellars (which were filled from Swan Lake), 
sutlers' stores, magazines, laundries, bathhouses, etc., rapidly sprang 
into existence. Gardens were also cleared, and old soldiers have 
recorded the fact that they could not be excelled in the matter of the 
quantity and quality of the vegetables produced. 

"In the regular course of military movements, some of the com- 
panies first doing duty here were transferred to different posts, and 
their places were taken by others : and so it happened that many whose 
names were enrolled on the scroll of fame in after years, were initiated 


into the science of war at Fort Winnebago. Perhaps the most promi- 
nent of them all was Lieutenant Jefferson Davis, the subaltern of Capt. 
William S. Harney. To his honor, be it said, his sei*viees at Fort Win- 
nebago were highly creditable. I have heard it remarked by those who 
knew him here, that he had no liking for the amusements to which offi- 
cers, as well as private soldiers, resort to relieve the tedium of camp 
life; but that he w-as ever engaged, when not in active service, in some 
commendable occupation. His services in the lumber camps on the 
Yellow River, and his successful mission in bringing down fleets of 
lumber through the Dells of the Wisconsin, attest to his faithfulness as 
a soldier." 


The fort was completed in the spring of 1830. The principal build- 
ings stood on the side of a square, and the only structures in the nature 
of fortifications were two heavj-, compact block houses, perforated for 
musketry and situated at the northeast and southwest corners of the 
quadrangle. At the .same angle was the magazine, a low arched struc- 
ture of heavy stone. A little south, and across the military road lead- 
ing to Fort Howard, were the hospital and the quarters of the medical 
statif; and still further south were the carpenters' shops in which Jeff 
Davis is said to have exhibited much skill in the manufacture of quaint 
furniture. Westward, on the slope toward the river, was the com- 
missary building, near which were the stables of the sutler and the 
slaughter houses. Forty rods east were the blacksmiths' shops, and 
on the north and south sides of the fort lay the truck gardens; on the 
east, the parade gi'ounds. 

The fort proper was inclosed by a solid picket or stockade. There 
were two entrances, each guarded by thick double gates. The main 
buildings were neat one-and-a-half-story edifices, painted white, with 
sharply sloping roofs and uniform dormer windows. 

Amusements at the Post 

After the fort was completed, there was much leisure for amuse- 
ment and both officers and privates saw that time should not hang 
heavily. Billiards, cards, dancing and amateur theatricals varied the 
nights, while horse racing and athletic sports absorbed the days. At 
one period the mail arrived every two weeks from Chicago, via Mineral 
Point. The stage which brought it hove in sight upon a height three 
miles from the fort, and it was a favorite pastime to lay wagers on the 


moment of its first appearance, as well as the precise moment it would 
reach the postoiHce (the sutler's storehouse) ; also as to whether or not 
the betters would be honored by the receipt of letters. Game was 
abundant in its season, and many days were devoted to the hunt. 
Sleigh-riding parties were also popular. 

Social calls were not confined to intercourse between the few ladies 
of Fort Wiimebago. It was nothing unusual for a lady and her escort 
to make a "party call" upon some acquaintance at Fort Crawford, 
down the Wisconsin River, 118 miles, or down the Fox to Fort Howard, 
175 miles away. 

Noted Men and Women at the Fort 

Previous to the evacuation of Fort Winnebago in 1845, Colonel Cut- 
ler, Major Green, Colonel Mcintosh, Captains Low and Jewett and 
Lieutenant Mumford were in command; but they were not the char- 
acters of greatest interest to the people of Columbia County. For 
instance, there were Capt. Gideon Low and Lieut. Horatio P. Van 
Cleve, who came from Fort Howard in the early '30s. Both Lieutenant 
Davis and Captain Low served in the Black Hawk War, the latter being 
ordered to Port Atkinson. After the danger was over he returned to 
Fort Winnebago, where he remained until 1840. He then resigned and 
took charge of the Franklin House, which he had built two years before, 
and until his death at the agency ten years later was known as the most 
popular landlord of the portage. Captain Low was buried in the 
fort cemetery but his remains were finally removed to the Silver 
Lake grounds. 

Jacob Low, his only son, was a New York merchant and sea-faring 
man in his earlier years, but in 1843 joined the captain at Fort Win- 
nebago. There he became an Indian trader and a few years afterward 
moved to his farm in that section of the county which now bears his 
name, Lowville Township. Afterward he blossomed into a successful 
jDolitician and office holder, and died at his home in Lowville during 

Lieutenant and Mrs. Van Cleve 

Lieutenant Van Cleve married Charlotte Ouisconsin Clark, daugh- 
ter of Maj. Nathan Clark, at Fort Winnebago in 1836. As his wife 
had been born at Fort Crawford in 1819 she was the first girl of pure 
white parentage born within the present limits of Wisconsin. Her 


father, the major, died at Fort Winnebago and was buried in the old 
military cemetery, but his body was subsequently moved to Cincinnati. 
Lieutenant Van Cleve went to the front early in the Civil war 
as colonel of the Second Minnesota. At the Battle of Stone River he 
was severely wounded, but recovered and served with distinction until 
the close of the rebellion, leaving the Union service as a major general. 
Mrs. Van Cleve passed the later years of her long life at ilinueapolis, 
where she died April 1. 1907. 


When Henry ;\Ierrell, also a New York merchant, came to Fort 
Winnebago as a sutler in 1834, he first met Captain Low and Lieuten- 
ant Van Cleve, and retained their acquaintanceship and friendship for 
many j'ears. He afterward became agent for the American Fur Com- 
pany, and was honored with many public positions, seiwing as the first 
senator from the district when the state was organized. He died in 
Jlay, 1876, leaving a large estate. His daughter, Mrs. E. S. Purdy, is 
still living in Portage : also a son, B. H. Merrell, at Superior, Wis. 

Satterlee Clark 

Satterlee Clark, so widely known throughout Southern Wisconsin, 
was appointed a sutler by President Jackson in 1830, but being a minor 
he could not assume its duties directly. So he passed it over to Oliver 
Newberry, of Detroit, and became his clerk. Clark was afterward mar- 
ried at the old Indian agency house to a daughter of Mr. Jones, the 
regular sutler of Fort Winnebago, amassing wealth by his business abil- 
ity and gaining broad popularity by his engaging personality. He 
was for many years a senator from Dodge County. 

Lieut. Randolph B. March was on duty at Fort Winnebago in 
1837-40; captain in 1846 and in active service during the Mexican war. 
During the Civil war he was chief of staff under his son-in-law, 6e». 
George B. McClellan, and in 1861-2 attained the rank of inspector 
general and brevet brigadier general. In her girlhood, Mrs. McClellan 
resided at the fort where her father was stationed. 


Orders for the evacuation of Fort Winnebago were issued by the 
War Department in 1845, the troops being sent to Jefferson Barracks, 
St. Louis, and, in turn, had been ordered to the Gulf pending hostil- 


ities with Mexico. When the evacuation took place the fort was placed 
iu charge of Ordnance Sergeant Van Camp, who looked after it until 
his death in 1847. William Weir, an old soldier of the fort, then had 
charge of it until 1853, when it was sold at auction under orders from 
Jefferson Davis, as secretary of war. 

Last Relic op Fort Win? 

Final Dissolution 

In March, 1856, a fire destroyed, or seriously damaged, most of 
the buildings which were then occupied by private families. The reser- 
vation of nearly 4,000 acres became the property of J, B. Martin and 
others, of Milwaukee, and subsequently of W. H. Wells, of Pond du 
Lac, and P. H. Marsten, of Buffalo. In 1869 and 1873, Valentine Hel- 
maun of Portage bought the eighty acres on the left of the old military 
road, which contained all the remaining buildings. Afterward Mr. 
Helmann sold the stone to the Government, its engineers using it in 
constructing breakwaters along the Wisconsin River, and the brick 
taken from the massive fireplaces and chimneys of the crumbling struc- 
tures went into his farm residence. The old commissary building, 
which was the headquarters of Henry Merrell and other famous sut- 
lers, was moved and long did service as a barn on the same farm. The 
last of it was torn down only two years ago. The old well collapsed 
about twenty-five years ago, and nearly all the buildings which 



remained after Mr. Helmaim's wholesale ravages were sold piece-meal 
to different parties in Portage and the Town of Winnebago. The 
only old-time structure of the "portage" — and that was no part of the 
fort — is the Indian Agency Building occupied by John H. Kinzie and 
his wife, the lively, pretty and bright author of "Wau-Bun." 

Old Indian Agency House, Portage 

It is now the farm residence of E. S. Baker, the well known lawyer 
and citizen of Portage City. He has transformed it into a pleasant and 
comfortable home, but it is still the historic agency building. Its 
dimensions are 30x36 feet on the ground, two stories high with attic. 
The kitchen is 20x24 feet, one and a half stories. The framework is 
massive, the studding, rafters, joists, sleepers and sills being twice 
the size of similar material used in buildings of the present. The 
house was originally surrounded by a circular row of maples and elms, 
most of which have disappeared. 

"The fixtures and furniture left at the fort when it was evacuated," 
says Turner, "were disposed of at auction or carried away at will, 
and many a family in the vicinage can boast of some old fort relic. The 
famous 'Davises' (pieces of furniture made in the fort carpenter shop 
by Jefferson Davis) could have been found in the inventories of the 
household effects of some families, and they may be in existence some- 
where yet. An okl sideboard that was in service at the agency, pre- 
sumably Mrs. Kinzie 's, is one of the treasures in the late James Col- 


lins' household, aud a bureau and sideboard, which constituted a part 
of the furniture in one of the officers' quarters is in possession of Mrs. 
0. P. Williams, as also the old carved wooden eagle that was perched 
over the main entrance. The eagle is now in the D. A. R. department 
of the Portage Public Library." 


Peter Pauquette — Death of the Famous Trader — Shot by Man- 


Remains of Pauquette Finally Ijocated — The Coming of 
Henry Merrell — Fort "Winnebago in 1834 — Commandants and 
Indian Agents — The De Korras and Joseph Crelie — Post 
Amusements — Business Trips Under Difficulties — Merrell 's 
Account of the Famous 1837 Treaty — Trips More or Less Excit- 
ing — Merrell in Politics — Satterlee Clark's Perilous Journey 
— Black Hawk Threatens Fort Winnebago — Cl-^rk Sent for 
Reinforcements — On Return Overtakes Mounted Militia — 
Fatal Stampede of Troopers' Horses — "Battle" of the Wis- 
consin — End op the Black Hawk War — De La Ronde Makes 
the Portage est 1828 — The Noted Indian Family, De-kau-ry 
(De Korra) — De La Ronde Becojies a Caledonia Farmer — 
Indian Removal of 1840 — Grignon, or French Claim No. 21 — 
L'Ecuyer's Gr-ave — The Post Cemetery — Wisconsinapolis and 
Others Like It. 

The traders and carriers at the portage and those connected with 
the garrison of Fort Winnebago were rather unsettled characters, and 
cannot therefore be considered as the founders of the stable commu- 
nities which gradually evolved into what is now known, collectively, as 
Columbia County. Incidentally, some of the most prominent of these 
advance couriers have been introduced, and further details of their 
lives and characteristics are due them before we pass on to stable land 
owners and the civil and political organization of the county. 

Peter Pauqu^ette 

Peter Pauquette undoubtedly was one of the most noted and widely 
known of all the early men claimed by the region of the portage, and 


his tragic death, at the very commencement of the era of secure homes 
and substantial development, makes his life especially significant. He 
was the son of a French father and a Winnebago mother, born at St. 
Louis in 171)6 and married there in 1818 to Theresa Crelie, daughter 
of a Canadian half-breed, "Old Crelie," and a nameless mother, a 
half-breed Sac. Pauquette was therefore quite a mixture of red and 
white blood, which, coupled with his fearlessness, wonderful strength 
and absolute honesty, gave him popularity and standing with trader, 
Indian and Government. At the date of his marriage in Prairie du 
Chien, when twenty-two years of age, he was in the employ of the 
American Fur Company, and later became one of the best known inter- 
preters in Wisconsin. He acted in that capacity at the treaties with 
the Winnebagoes at Prairie du Chien in 1825, Green Bay in 1828, anu 
Rock Island in 1832. In the year last mentioned he was active in rais- 
ing a party of Winnebagoes to unite with the Americans against 
Black Hawk. After the war he was engaged permanently as a trader 
at the portage, representing the American Fur Company as its agent. 
Previous to that time, although his headquarters had been at the port- 
age for several years, he had been much occupied in different parts 
of the state as an interpreter, and upon several occasions his duties 
had called him to Washington. 

A son and a daughter were born to Pauquette while he lived at 
the portage and both resided in the vicinity for many years, respected 
and popular. The daughter Theresa, who was twice married, was at 
last accounts living in Caledonia, having passed her eightieth birth- 
day. She retained pleasant memories of the visits to her father's place 
made bj' Lieutenant Davis and Captain Low. 

Death op the Famous Trader 

It was while acting as interpreter for Governor Dodge in his nego- 
tiations with the Winnebagoes for a further cession of their lands that 
the events occurred which led to his assassination by an enraged 
Indian, who claimed that Pauquette had acted treacherously. Pau- 
quette was shot to death by the Winnebago, son of Whirling Thunder, 
a prominent chief, on the night of October 17, 1836, near the little 
Catholic Church in the present city of Portage. At the time of his 
death he was living across the i-iver on the Judge Barden farm. 

Various accounts have been written of Pauquette 's death, the most 
authentic being those by John de La Ronde, the widely known French 
Canadian fur trader who afterward settled in Caledonia, and Satter- 
lee Clark, the Fort Winnebago sutler. From the former we quote: 


'•Oil the 17tli of October, 1836, Governor Dodge eame to Portage to 
hold a council with the Indians. Peter Pauquette acted as interpreter. 
The result of the council was advising the Winnebagoes to sell their 
lands east of the Mississippi. The Indians could not agree, and the 
matter was postponed until the next year. A treaty for the sale of the 
land was abandoned, they preferring an annuity. Peter Pauquette 
demanded for them twenty-one boxes of money — $21,000 — declaring 
that that was the amount due him from the Indians for goods and pro- 
visions advanced to them. 

" Man-ze-mon-e-ka, a son of one of the chiefs of the Rock river 
band, residing a mile or two above the present locality of Watertown, 
named Wau-kon-ge-we-ka or Whirling Thunder (One-who-walks-on- 
the-iron), objected on the ground that he belonged to the Rock river 
band and had received no provisions or goods from Pauquette, desir- 
ing that the money should be divided between the several bands; then 
those who were indebted to Pauquette might pay him if they chose. 
As for himself, or his band, they had their own debts to pay to the 
traders at Rock river. The result was that the council dissolved with- 
out coming to a decision. 

"Pauquette crossed the "Wisconsin, going to a saloon where Carpen- 
ter's house now stands, and there indulged in drink. Man-ze-mon-e-ka, 
who had spoken so frankly in the council, also happened there, when 
Pauquette whipped liim. I came there at the time and, with the help 
of others, rescued the Indian from Pauquette. The chief retired to the 
other end of the portage, near where the house of Henry Merrell once 
stood on the Fox river. Pauciuette followed him there and whipped 
him again. Satterlee Clark and I took the Indian away from him 
again, who was by this time badly bruised. He went home, which was 
near where Armstrong's brickyard now is, -and Pauquette went to the 
old post of the American Fur Company near the grist mill. While on 
his way home, between one and two o'clock in the morning, he stopped 
at my place. I was then living at the house which used to belong to 
Francis Leroy. I did all that I could to persuade him to stay with me 
that night, seeing that he was under the influence of liquor, but he 
would go on; his brother-in-law, Touissant St. Huge, and William 
Powell from Green Lake, were with him. There were some Indians 
drinking at the house of Paul Grignon — the same house now used for 
a stalile by 0. P. Williams. Among these Indians were Black Wolf 
and his son. Rascal De-kau-ry. the Elk, Big Thunder and others. 


Shot by Man-ze-mon-e-ka 

"When Pauquette arrived there, he whipped Black Wolf, and Ras- 
cal De-kau-ry ran away north from wheie they were, right in the direc- 
tion of the lodge of Man-ze-mou-e-ka whom Pauquette had beaten the 
preceding day. On arriving at the chief's cabin, he informed him that 
Pauquette was coming to whip him again. Man-ze-mon-e-ka emerged 
from his lodge and told Pauquette very pointedly not to come any 
further; that he had whipped him twice the day before without a 
cause and if he advanced another step he was a dead man. Pauquette, 
putting his hand to his breast, said 'Fire, if you are brave,' when 
Mau-ze-mon-e-ka shot and Pauquette fell. 

"William Powell was close to Pauquette at the time, and as soon 
as I heard the report of the gun I ran for the spot as fast as I could. 
It was close to where I was living. I met Powell running toward the 
fort, and asked him what was the matter; but he was going so fast 
that he did not hear me. I went where Pauquette was, took his hand 
which was warm, and told him if he knew me to press my hand. But 
he was dead. The ball had passed through his heart. 

"Old Crelie, father-in-law to Pauquette, wanted to carry him home, 
Ijut I would not allow him to touch him until the jury came. William 
Powell arrived there with Lieutenant Hooe, Sergeant Pollinger, ten 
private soldiers, Satterlee Clark and, I believe, Henry Merrell. Lieu- 
tenant Hooe refused to go into the lodge to take the Indian ; the chief. 
White French, went and brought him out. when they took him across 
in a scow, the body of Pauquette also being taken over. 

' ' They asked Man-ze-mon-e-ka if he shot Pauquette, which he frankly 
acknowledged. I really believe he thought he was going to be killed on 
the spot, as he sang his death song. He was taken to the garrison, kept 
in strict confinement and afterward conveyed to Green Bay, where he 
was tried by regular authority and finally acquitted, it being deter- 
mined on a second trial that he had killed Pauquette in self-defense." 

Both De La Ronde and Clark assert that Pauquette was not addicted 
to drink, and the latter says: "His death can safely be attributed to 
intoxication, though it was the first time I ever knew or heard of his 
being in that condition." But from their accounts, as well as the narra- 
tive of Henry ]Merrell, he lost his usual good temper over the criticisms 
made by the traders as to the part he had taken at the council, especially 
taking umbrage at the charges of misconduct made by the Griguons. 

Henry Merrell put the matter thus: "The governor proposed to 
make a treaty with them (the Winnebagoes) and buy their country 
between the Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers. After they had counseled 


for some days they refused to sell. It was generally supposed that they 
would act as Pauquette advised them. Therefore the story was raised 
that Pauquette had advised them not to sell, and that he had not in- 
terpreted truly: which came to the ears of Pauquette, and he said it 
was untrue. He told me the chiefs asked his advice, but he told them 
that he would not advise them, for he did not know anything about the 
country the government wanted them to go to ; and therefore they must 
make up their own minds about it. 

"The traders and half-breeds, all the way from Prairie du Chien to 
Green Bay, were assembled here, and it was supposed that many of 
them, if not most of them, wanted the Indians to form a treaty, so they 
could get money by it. As it was thought that Pauquette had as much 
influence with the nation as a king, he was courted as well as feared by 
all; therefore every man of them wanted to court his favor, and would 
treat him and urge him to drink. The consequence was that after get- 
ting through interpreting and settling up with Governor Dodge, which 
was the latter part of the third day, he drank too much — the first time 
I ever saw him under the influence of liquor. * * *" 

Inflamed by Liquor and False Charges 

Thus primed with liquor, his naturally peaceful nature stirred both 
by this unwonted stimulant and the charges made against his honor, 
the giant Pauquette raged like an aroused lion. He sought out the 
Grignons, the chief instigators of the charges against him, and one of 
them l)arely escaped from the infuriated man. The same day he com- 
menced his abuse of the Indian chiefs, and the next met his death at 
the hands of ]Man-ze-mon-e-ka. 

The RE^L\I^-s of Pauquette Finally Located 

"There has been some doubt," says Satterlee Clark, writing many 
years ago, "as to where Mr. Pauquette was buried, and I will state what 
I know of his burial. In the first instance, while he did not claim to 
belong to any religious denomination, his wife being a Catholic he built 
a small church near the center of what is now Portage City. At his 
death I assisted to bury his remains under the floor of this church. 
Subsequently the church was burned, and still later, while I was living 
at Green Lake, I received a summons to come up and point out the 
grave, some of his friends being desirous to remove his body, I came 
up and found the locality without any difficulty, but never heard whether 


he was removed, or. if so, where. At that time Portage City had been 
surveyed and his grave was in the middle of a street." 

The sequel to Mr. Clark's story was revealed nearly seventy years 
after Pauquette's death. On August 19, 1904, workmen were engaged 
iii excavating the cellar of the new Baptist parsonage, Conant and 
Adams streets, when they scattered a pile of decayed wood, a crumbling 
skeleton of unusually large proportions, some metal handles and a metal 
plate, the last named bearing the plain inscription "Peter Pauquette, 
died 10 Octbr. 1836, aged 41 years." 

The relics of the famous trader and interpreter were uncovered 
about twenty-five feet from Adams Street and twice that distance from 
the rear of the Baptist Church, which then stood on the old Catholic 
property. The little log church which Pauquette had erected a few 
years before his death was destroyed by fire about 1840. His grave 
was then surrounded by quite an elaborate palisade, which stood until 
it became necessary to remove his remains to the spot where they were 
found in 1904. For some unexplained reason this location appears to 
have been lost, although a tree was planted in 1903 marking the spot 
(near the Adam Eulberg residence) where Pauquette was killed by 

When Pauquette's remains were brought to light, as recorded, his 
aged daughter, Theresa, was immediately notified and she promptly 
journeyed from her Caledonia home to Portage city to transfer them 
to sacred ground. The next day, August 20, 1904, they were once more 
consigned to mother earth in the Catholic cemetery of St. Mary's. This 
daughter is still living at the old home in Caledonia. 

On a window casement of the Baptist parsonage is also affixed a 
tablet bearing this inscription : ' ' Pierre Pauquette, 1795-1836 ; removed 
to Catholic cemetery, 1904; placed by the Golden Gossip Club." The 
tablet marks the spot where for many years reposed the remains of the 
famous pioneer; as near as may be, it marks the head of Pauquette's 

The Coming op Henry Mekrell 

Henry Merrell, one of Pauquette's most intimate friends, upon the 
advice of some army officers who had visited the portage, came to Port 
Winnebago to engage in business as a sutler. This was in 1834. Pass- 
ing over the details of the progress of his goods and himself from his 
home in Sacket's Harbor to the "jumping off place" at the portage, 
in the wild and woolly West, he finally arrived at Green Bay (via 
Detroit) on June 7th and contracted with Alexander and Samuel Irwin 


to transport his goods to Fort Winnebago in Durham boats. In order 
to do so it was necessary for them to assemble a large number of Indians 
at the rapids; then reloading and poling them up to the Grand Chute 
where Appleton is now situated. There they had to unload and carry 
the goods up a hill and down the other side above the chute, which was 
a perpendicular fall of three or four feet. The Indians would wade in, 
as many as could stand around the boat, and lift it over, while others 
had a long eordelle, with a turn around a tree above, taking up the 
slack and pulling as much as they could. Wlien the boats were over, 
they were reloaded and then pushed ahead and poled from there to 
Fort Winnebago. Excepting in low water they would have to make 
half loads over the Winnebago rapids at Xeenah and, with a fair wind, 
would sail through Lake Winnebago. 

"This was the manner of transportation on Fox River at that time, 
taking from fifteen to eighteen days to reach Fort Winnebago." 

ilr. Merrell engaged Hamilton Arnt as a guide and the two rode 
overland, following Indian trails up the Fox valley toward their desti- 
nation. He says : ' ' We passed over some fine prairies. In many places 
they looked like cultivated fields. We would see an orchard in the dis- 
tance, and before I knew it I was frequently looking for the house, not 
realizing that there was none from fifteen to twenty miles of us. We 
arrived at ]Mr. Pauquette's farm at Belle Fountaine on the 27th, and 
got a fine dinner of fried venison, and from here to Fort Winnebago 
there was a good carriage road of twelve miles. At the fort I met 
Lieutenant Lacej', quartermaster and commissary, who received me cor- 
dially and said he had a bed at my disposal, as his wife was absent. He 
accompanied me in calling upon the commanding officer. Colonel (Enos) 
Cutler and his lady, with whom I was acquainted. The Colonel said 
the store should be ready by the time my goods got there. I also met 
Lieuts. Van Cleve, Johnston, Collinsworth, Ruggles, Hooe and Read, 
together with Surgeon ^McDougall. Captains Low. Clark and Plympton 
were absent at this time. Dr. L. Foot arrived in the fall. Out of 
thirty-six days the Colonel told me they had had rain, more or less, 
thirty-one days. 

"I found Burley Follett. Daniel Bushnell and Satterlee Clark, Jr., 
in charge of the sutler's store, as agents of Oliver Newberry, of Detroit, 
for whom they were carrying on the business. Captain (Robert A.) 
McCabe, postmaster and Indian agent, was living in the agency house 
across the river; a fine, jolly man, I found him. 

"My goods arrived on the 1st of July, six weeks from New York. 
How was that for speed? July 2nd Captain Low arrived at Duck 
Creek, four miles from the fort, with his wife and two daughters in a 


carriage, and sent up word for men to help them across. So the Colonel 
sent twenty men to help them across Duck Creek marsh, and they ar- 
rived safe at the fort. 

Fort Winnebago in 1834 

"This fort is situated on a beautiful plateau forty or fifty feet 
above the Fox River, on the east side of it and of the portage, the river 
forming an ox-bow around it on three sides. The grounds about the 
buildings embraced ten or fifteen acres, with a substantial board fence. 
The fort buildings were inclosed with an ornamental picket fence in a 
cii-cular form, with walks graded and kept in perfect form, with the 
rest of the grounds, and altogether it was a delightful place. The 
portage is low ground one and a half miles across to the Wisconsin 
River, over which they haul boats. Peter, or Pierre Pauquette, a half- 
breed Indian trader, kept fifteen or twenty yoke of oxen to haul boats 
across from one river to the other, and finally had large wheels mounted 
on which to convey the boats. As the American Fur Company sent all 
its furs from Prairie du Chien this way to Mackinaw, there were many 
boats that crossed the portage. 


"At this time there were no white American inhabitants outside 
the fort except the Indian agent, Captain McCabe, who had a shock of 
palsy and left in August, when I was appointed postmaster in his stead, 
which office I held for twelve years. After he left, the commanding 
officer at the fort was ordered to perform the duties of Indian agent, 
and after that there was no other agent at this point, except for a few 
months, when Thomas A. B. Boyd was stationed here as sub-agent. 
Colonel Cutler commanded until May, 1835, when he was ordered to 
New York and Maj. Nathan Clark succeeded him, who died at this post. 
Ma.i. John Green took the command in October, 1835, ]\Iaj. W. V. Cobbs 
succeeding him in 1838, he being disabled with palsy. Captain Low 
was the chief officer for a short time, when Colonel (James S.) Mcintosh 
succeeded him in 1840. The garrison was finally reduced to one com- 
pany, with Lieut. F. S. IMumford in command. 

The De Korras and Joseph Crelie 

"When I arrived at the fort the old chief, De Korra, had his village 
on the west side of the Wisconsin River about eight miles below the 


portage. His hair was as white as wool, and he must have been very 
old. He had several brothers, but, from his looks, I should judge that 
he was the oldest of the family. He died soon afterward. His mother 
was pointed out to me some years afterward, when I was told she must 
be over one hundred and forty-three years old, for she recollected the 
massacre of the Indians at Butte des Morts, she being there at the time, 
which was 140 years previous. But this, I think, must be a mistake, 
as I am informed that it was not so long since that massacre. At the 
time I saw her she was able to walk six or eight miles to and from the 
portage. She lived several years after, and came to her death by the 
burning of her wigwam. 

"Joseph Crelie, the father of Madam Pauquette, lived to a great 
age. He carried the mail on horseback to and from Green Bay, and 
seemed to ride a horse as well as a young man when he was thought to 
be one hundred years old. He died a few years ago (written in the 
Ecventies), when it was said that he was one hundred and thirty-odd 
years old. 

Post Amusements 

"During the winter it was rather a lonely life, to be confined to tlie 
garrison, with no city or village within 100 miles and not even a farm- 
hoiise to visit. But we managed to enjoy ourselves pretty well, there 
being ladies enough to form one cotillon, and we often met at one of 
the oificer's quarters and danced, there being good musicians among 
the soldiers. One winter the soldiers got up a theater, the officers con- 
tributing toward scenery and dresses. There being a great variety of 
characters among the soldiers, they got up quite a respectable company 
which afforded us much amusement. Then we would sometimes make 
up a party and go a-visiting, but to do so we had to go over 100 miles 
to Green Bay, Prairie du Chien or Chicago. One visit we made to Chi- 
cago is verj' well told by General Marcy in Harper's Monthly (Septem- 
ber, 1869), when we were all taken up on the road for stealing a buffalo 
robe, for the purpose of filching money out of us, as they thought we 
would sooner pay than be detained at a log cabin over night. 

Business Trips Under Difficulties 

"About the 1st of March, 1835, I got ready to start for New York 
on horseback, but the only sure way to go was via Galena and thence 
to Chicago, as there were no roads through the country in any other 
direction, and if I attempted to cross the country to ]\Iilwaukee or 


Chicago, there were no bridges or ferries for crossing the streams. 
Captain Harris, from Galena, came up to the fort on business, and I 
gladly embraced the opportunity of accompanying him on his return." 
Mr. Merrell made several trips to New York overland to Chicago 
or Milwaukee, in this round-about way, in order to re-stock his goods, 
and we regret that the book-space at our disposal does not allow us to 
draw more liberally upon his interesting reminiscences based upon his 
wide journeyings. 

Merrell 's Account op the F.vmous 1837 Treaty 

Mr. Merrell 's account of the famous treaty of 1837 by which the 
Winnebagoes ceded all their lands east of the Mississippi River is close 
to the text — Columbia County — and is well worthy of quotation. He 
says: "Governor Dodge, being in Portage in 1837, invited the Winne- 
bagoes to send a delegation to visit their Great Father at Washington. 
Suspicious of a purpose to obtain their lands, they asked 'What for— 
to make a treaty?' The Governor evaded the point, suggesting that 
they could get acquainted with their Great Father and obtain presents, 
and after much persuasion it was agreed to send a delegation — Yellow 
Thunder and two other chiefs, the others being young men, generally 
sons of chiefs. Satterlee Clark accompanied them as one of the con- 

"As soon as they reached Washington they were beset to hold a 
treaty and cede their lands to the Government. They finally decided, 
saying they had no authority for any such purpose; that the most of 
their chiefs were at home, who alone could enter into such a negotiation. 
Every influence was brought to bear upon them, and they began to get 
uneasy lest winter should set in and prevent their returning home. They 
were without means to defray their expenses back, and those managing 
Indian matters at Washington availed themselves of the necessities of 
the delegation, keeping them there and urging them to enter into a 

"At length they yielded not their judgments, but to the pressure 
brought to bear upon them and, while reluctantly signing the treaty, 
yet all the while stoutly protesting against having any show of authority 
to do so. The treaty, as they were informed, permitted them to remain 
in the peaceful occupancy of the ceded lands eight years, when, in 
fact, it was only that number of months; and as each went forward to 
attach his name, or rather mark, to the treaty, he would repeat what 
he understood as to the time they were to remain, 'eight years.' And 


tluis the poor red iiieu were deceived and outwitted by those who ought 
to have beau their wards and protectors. 

"One of the young men, son of a prominent chief, dared not, on 
his return home, visit his father for a long time. The whole nation felt 
that they had been outraged, and forced to leave their native homes. 
Yellow Thunder declared he would never go — that he would leave his 
l)ones in Wisconsin; but he was invited, with young Black ^Yolf, into 
Fort Winnebago, on pretence of holding a council, when the gates were 
treacherously closed upon them, and they and many others were con- 
veyed by the United States troops beyond the Mississippi. But Yellow 
Thunder got back sooner than the soldiers who forced him away. Then 
he induced John T. De La Ronde to accompany him to the land office 
at Mineral Point and enter forty acres of land in his behalf on the west 
side of the Wisconsin about eight miles above Portage. At the land 
office inquiry was made if Indians would be permitted to enter land. 
'Yes,' was the reply, 'Government has given no orders to the contraiT. ' 
So Yellow Thunder, the head war chief of his people, secured a home- 
stead on which he settled, declaring that he was going to be a white 
man." And there the sturdy chief quietly passed the remainder of 
his long life until 1S74. He lived to see the last forced march of any 
considerable band of his people to their lands beyond the Mississippi. 

Trips More or Less Exciting 

In 1839 Mr. Merrell's duties as postmaster at the agency house were 
varied by an exciting trip down the Wisconsin and Mississippi in 
charge of a lumber fleet. A less blood-curdling and laborious task fell 
to him, the next year — the taking of the census of a large district under 
the United States marshal. After considerable travel in the Chippewa 
region of northern Wisconsin he found an incompleted mill with a few 
employees, near what is now Wausau, whom he duly recorded, when 
his enumeration ceased. But the shooting down the Wisconsin, over 
rapids and tlirough gorges, before he again reached the portage was 
compensation for any disappointment which he might have felt as to 
paucity of population in his territory. 

]Merrell in Politics 

"Judge David Irvin. " continues Mr. Merrell, "was to hold court 
at the portage, I think, in 1841 or 1842. He sent me an appointment 
as clerk of the court, and as there was no time to lose, requested me to 
go to Columbus and have a .iury list made out and placed in the hands 


of the sheriff. I did so, and the judge held the first court in this county 
(then Portage) at the Franklin House, kept by Captain Low — after 
which I resigned. 

"In 1848 I was elected state senator in the Second District, which 
embraced all that part of the state north of Dane County to Lake 
Superior, and including Sauk, Marquette, Green Lake and Portage 
counties, since divided into eight or ten districts. I was elected as the 
whig candidate over the Hon. James T. Lewis, the democratic nominee. 
In the senate there were but three whigs. I served during this, the first 
session under the Constitution, which met at Madison on the 5th day 
of June, 1848, and during the next session, which met on the 10th day 
of January, 1849. During these two sessions there was an immense 
deal of work done in organizing the state, revising the statutes, etc." 

Satterlee Clark's Perilous Journey 

Satterlee Clark and Peter Pauquette acted as scouts during the 
Winnebago war, and the former played perhaps the most important 
part in securing the troops from General Atkinson, the chief oiScer in 
command, which perhaps averted a massacre of the thirty men remain- 
ing in Fort Winnebago, with several women and children. Mr. Clark's 
account of his adventures is simple and graphic : "In 1831, in viola- 
tion of a treaty stipulation, the Sauk and Fox Indians, under Black 
Hawk and the Prophet, crossed the Mississippi into Illinois. Black Hawk 
was a Fox Indian and the Prophet was a Winnebago, who, with a small 
band, became discontented and left the Winnebagoes, joining the Sauk 
and Fox tribes among whom they had intermarried. General Atkinson 
was ordered to remove them. They offered to go back and remain for 
60,000 bushels of corn, and as corn was only five cents a bushel he gave 
it to them and they retired. 

"The following summer, thinking to get 60,000 bushels of corn quite 
easily, they again crossed the river and again General Atkinson was 
ordered to remove them. Instead of buying corn of them, he ordered 
all of the available troops into the field, and the President ordered out 
the Illinois militia under the command of General Henry and General 
Alexander, all under the command of General Atkinson. The Indians 
started up Fox River pursued by the troops, committing occasional 
depredations as they went along. After they got into Wisconsin the 
troops lost track of them, and General Atkinson continued up Rock 
River to where the village of Fort Atkinson stands, where he established 
his headcjuarters and built a temporary fort. 


Black Hawk Threatens Fort \Vinxebago 

"In the meantime Black Hawk, learning from the Winnebagoes, 
who also promised to assist him, that only thirty men remained at Fort 
Winnebago, determined to burn it and massacre its inmates. They 
accordingly came and encamped on the Fox River about four miles 
above Swan Lake and about eight miles from the fort. Every possible 
means that could be devised was adopted to protect the fort and save 
the lives of the inhabitants, most of whom were women and children; 
but after all had been done that was possible the commanding officer 
concluded that without reenforcements we would be lost, and determined 
to send to General Atkinson for troops. I was selected for that duty 
for several reasons; among which was my thorough acquaintance with 
the country, and another was the probability that the Winnegaboes 
would not harm me. 

Clark Sent for Reenforcements 

"Every day some Winnebago would come to me and advise me to 
go at night and stay in his wigwam, where, he said, I would be safe. 
At 9 o'clock at night I left the fort with many a 'God speed you,' 
armed with a small Ruggles rifle, my dispatches, a tomahawk and a 
bowie-knife. I crossed the Fox River at a shallow point just above 
where the public stables used to stand, and keeping the Indian trail 
that led from there to White Crow's village on Lake Kosh-ko-nong on 
my right, I traveled rapidly all night, walking up hill and running 
down hill and on a level. I struck the trail several times during the 
night, but left it immediately, as I feared that some Indians might be 
encamped upon it whose dogs would discover me before I would dis- 
cover them. I arrived safely at the fort (Atkinson) at half past 11 
o'clock in the forenoon, and delivered my dispatches to General Atkin- 
son, who sent 3,000 men at once to relieve Fort Winnebago. 

On Return Overtakes jMounted Militia 

"T slept till 4 o'clock in the afternoon and then started on my 
return, following the trail of the mounted militia for twelve miles, 
when I passed them and reached the head of a stream that used to be 
called Rowan's Creek, about twelve miles from the fort, shortly before 
daylight; and fearing to go furtlicr till night, I crawled into some brush 
and went to sleep. 

"As soon as it was dark, T left my hiding p]ace and returned to 


the fort as near as possible by the route I left it, arriving between 10 
and 11 o'clock P. M. I reported that the troops were on the way and 
would arrive next evening. We kept close watch all that night and at 
4 o'clock P. M. next day the troops arrived. It may surprise some of 
my readers that I should travel so rapidly, and the mounted troops 
should be so long on the road. But you must recollect the marshes 
were very wet at that time, that the whole country was a wilderness, 
and that when I jumped into a stream and waded through or walked 
across the marsh the troops had to build bridges and causeways. 

' ' The war would have been ended in two days if the militia had been 
in condition to follow the Indians; but the horses needed food and rest, 
rations had to be issued to the men, many of them had not a change of 
underclothing, and it was absolutely necessary to wait at least one day 
at the fort. 

Fatal Stampede op Troopers' Horses 

"The second night the horses took fright (probably at some Winne- 
bago Indians), and there was a- regular stampede. Several hundred 
started with a noise like thunder, running so close together that when 
one was so unfortunate as to face a tree he was either killed or so badly 
injured as to be unable to proceed, and was run over by the whole 
drove. Between the bank of the Wisconsin and the point of land be- 
tween there and the fort, thirty-seven horses were found dead. They 
took the trail they came on and ran to the prairie, a distance of about 
sixteen miles. Over sixty horses were killed, and it was late next day 
before those recovered were brought back. This, of course, occasioned 
another delay, and it was not till the fifth day that they left the fort 
in pursuit of the Indians. 

"Battle" op the Wisconsin 

"The enemy, in the meantime, went to the Four Lakes, where, as I 
learned later, they were advised to cross the Wisconsin and the Missis- 
sippi as soon as possible. A few reliable Winnebagoes, under Peter 
Pauquette and myself, were secured for scouts. We had no ditificulty 
in following their trail and gained upon them rapidly, overtaking them 
on the bank of the Wisconsin about twenty-five miles below, where the 
battle of the Wisconsin was fought. 

"That battle made many heroes, and so it should. About one hun- 
dred and twenty-five half-starved Indians defended the pass against 
nearly three thousand whites, while the remainder of the Indians, in 


plain sight, were crossing the Wisconsin with the women and children, 
and as soon as these were safe the Indians broke and ran. Then came 
the struggle for scalps. Every man who could run started down the 
hill at top speed, my Indian scouts and myself far ahead of the militia, 
and I was about thirty feet ahead of all. Just as I commenced raising 
the hill on the other side of the valley, Pauquette passed me on horse- 
back, and as he went by I caught his horse by the tail and held on till 
we reached the top of the hill, where we found four dead Indians. 
Pauquette took one scalp, I took one, and the Indian scouts took the 
other two. 

"The Indians lost four killed all told and the whites, one. This 
ended the battle of the Wisconsin about which so much has been written. 

End of the Black Hawk War 

"The Indians traveled as fast as possible to the Mississippi, near 
the mouth of the Bad Axe River. I went home. Shortly after Capt. 
Alexander Johnston was ordered to take command of the regular troops, 
endeavor to intercept the Indians and prevent their crossing the ^lissis- 
sippi. A steamboat was sent up the ilississippi from Fort Crawford, 
commanded by Jefferson Davis. He drove the Indians back, and they 
were all killed or taken prisoners except Black Hawk and the Prophet, 
with their families, who crossed the river before the steamboat arrived. 

"Gen. Winfield Scott offered a reward of $2,000 for the capture of 
Black Hawk and the Prophet, which was earned by a Winnebago called 
Little Thunder. All were then taken to Rock Island, where General 
Scott had established his headquarters. From there the leaders were 
taken to all the large cities of the country, to show them how impossible 
it was for them to wage successful war against the whites. 

"That ended the Black Hawk war." 

De La Ronde Make,s the Portage in 1828 

John T. De La Ronde, an educated Frenchman and in his youth and 
early manhood agent for the Northwest Fur Company, as well as for 
its successor, the Hudson Bay Company, crossed over to the American 
side of the line when he was about twenty-six years of age, became 
acquainted with some of the men connected with the American Fur 
Company at Mackinaw and, in quest of adventure, finally made the 
portage May 29, 1828. At the time he reached that place in his little 
bark canoe, he found the log house and barn occupied by Pauquette 
and family as the trading post of the Astor concern, but its agent was 


Washington on treaty business, acting as interpreter for the 
Winnebagoes. The post was erected almost opposite to where the mill 
was subseciuently built on the Fox River. Then there were the agency 
house and two log cabins occupied by half breeds, and on the east side 
of the river, where the fort was afterward built, the Le Roy house. 

The Noted Indian Family, De-kau-ry (De Korba) 

At the western end of the portage a warehouse was built, and three 
houses in which resided the Grignons — Perrish and Lavoin, father and 
son — and J. B. Leeuyer, the noted trader and half breed. As to the 
famous family De Korra, or De-kau-ry, De La Ronde gives the follow- 
ing information: "De-kau-ry, or Scha-chip-ka-ka, was principal chief 
of the Winnebagoes, often called by his countrymen Ko-no-koh De- 
kau-ry, meaning the eldest De-kau-ry. Scha-chip-ka-ka was the son of 
Chou-ke-ka, called by the whites Spoon De-kau-ry, and was the son of 
Sabrevoir De Carrie, corrupted into De-kau-ry, an officer of the French 
army in 1699 under De Broisbriant. He resigned his commission in 
1729, became an Indian trader among the Winnebagoes and subse- 
quently took for wife the head chief's sister named Wa-ho-po-e-kau, or 
the Glory of the Morning. After living with her seven or eight years 
he left her and their two sons, whom she refused to let him take away, 
but permitted him to take their daughter. De Carrie reentered the 
army and was mortally wounded at Quebec, April 28, 1760, dying of 
his wounds at the Montreal hospital. His eldest son, Chou-ke-ka (the 
Spoon, or Ladle), was made a chief and was cjuite aged when he died 
at the portage about 1816. At his request he was buried in a sitting 
posture on the surface of the ground, with a small log structure over 
the body surrounded by a fence. I saw his burial place in 1828, when 
the red cedar posts of which the fence was made were yet undecayed. 
His widow died two miles above Portage in 1868, at a very advanced 
age. The old chief's sister, who had been taken to Montreal and edu- 
cated there, was married to Laurent Filly, a Quebec merchant, whose 
son of the same name was long a clerk for Augustin Grignon. 

"Chou-ke-ka was succeeded by his sou, Scha-chip-ka-ka, who had 
six brothers and five sisters. One of the brothers was called Ruch-ka- 
Siha-ka, or White Pigeon, called by the whites Black De-kau-ry ; another, 
Chou-me-ne-ka-ka, or Raisin De-kau-ry; another, Ko-ke-mau-ne-ka, or 
He-who-walks-between-two-stars, or the Star Walker; another, Yound 
De-kau-ry, called by the whites, on account of his tricky character, 
Rascal De-kau-ry; another, Wau-kon-ga-ko, or the Thunder Hearer, 
and the sixth, Ongs-ka-ka, or White Wolf, who died young. Of the 


sisters, three married Indian husbands; one married a trapper named 
Dennis De Riviere, and afterward Perrish Grignon; the other married 
John B. Leeuyer, the father of Madame Le Roy." 

De La Ronde Becomes a Caledonia Farmer 

While making tlie portage his headquarters De La Ronde took trips 
to Prairie du Chien and Green Bay, as well as far into the Lake Superior 
region. In the winter of 1832 he was engaged by the American Fur 
Company as a clerk, and subsequently participated in the Winnebago 
war, being accompanied by Peter Pauquette, White Crow, who com- 
manded a small body of Winnebagoes, and others. When the country 
became more secure De La Ronde established several trading posts, but 
tired of this roving life and in the summer of 1838 opened a farm in 
what is now Caledonia Township, the third in that section of the county. 

Indian Removal of 1840 

"In 1840," saj's De La Ronde, "the troops came to Portage to 
remove the Winnebago. Indians, a part of the Eighth Regiment of In- 
fantry under command of Colonel Worth, and a part of the Fifth 
Regiment under General Brooke, with General Atkinson as commander- 
in-chief. There were three interpreters employed by the Government — 
Antoine Grignon, Pierre Meneg and myself. Meneg was sent after 
Yellow Thunder and Black Wolf's son, inviting them to Portage to 
get provisions; but instead of that as soon as they arrived they were 
put into the guardhouse with ball and chain, which hurt the feelings 
of the Indians very much, as they had done no harm to the Govern- 
ment. The general had understood that they were going to revolt, 
refusing to emigrate according to treaty stipulations; but as soon as 
Governor Dodge came here they were released. They all promised 
faithfully to be at Portage, ready for removal in three days, and they 
were all there the second day. 

"There were two large boats in which to take down such of the 
Indians as had no canoes. Antoine Grignon and Pierre Meneg went 
down with the boats. I was kept here by the order of General Atkin- 
son at the suggestion (jf General Brady, to assist the dragoons com- 
manded by Capt. (Edwin V.) Sumner and Lieutenants ilcCrate and 
Steele. We went down to Rock River to look for Mas-i-ma-ni-ka-ka ; 
from there we went to jMadison and thence to Fox River. We picked 
up 250 Indians, men, women and children, and took them down to 
Prairie du Chien. Before we got there, at the head of Kickapoo River 


we came to three Indian wigwams. The captain directed me to order 
the Indians to break up their camp and come along with him. Two old 
women, sisters of Black Wolf, and another one came up, throwing them- 
selves on their knees, crying and beseeching Captain Sumner to kill 
them; that they were old, and would rather die and be buried with their 
fathers, mothers and children, than be taken away, and that they were 
ready to receive their death-blows. The captain directed me to go with 
them and watch them, and we found them on their knees, kissing the 
ground and crj^ing very loud, where their relatives were buried. This 
touched the captain's feelings and he exclaimed 'Good God! What 
harm could those poor Indians do among the rocks?' " 

It might interest the reader to know that the Captain Sumner, 
whose good heart did him such credit, not only served with credit as a 
commander of dragoons in the Black Hawk war and elsewhere, but 
distinguished himself for his bravery and ability as a cavalry officer 
in the Mexican war and in many Indian campaigns in the Southwest. 
At one time he was military governor of New Mexico, and during the 
Civil war, after being three or four times wounded and reaching the 
rank of major general, through personal bravery and military genius, 
became so shattered in body that l^,went to his Syracuse home to die. 
His death occurred in March, 1863. He is especially identified with 
the history of Columbia County, in tliat^lie was stationed at Fort Winne- 
bago for several years, and was aljy^ys, considered one of the brightest 
and most popular of its officers. 

Grignon, or French Cl.wm No. 21 

Two months before the Indian uprising under Black Hawk a tract 
of land was conveyed by the general government to Augustin Grignon, 
son of the Green Bay founder of the family, whose home was at Kau- 
kauna, near the present Appleton. He was born in 1780 and became 
famous in the development of the Fox River valley, building its first 
sawmill and becoming interested in numerous townsites from Green 
Bay to the portage. He had served in the War of 1812 as a lieutenant 
in the American army, and was a captain in the Black Hawk war. 
The land of Mr. Grignon was patented to him by President Andrew- 
Jackson April 26, 1832, and consisted of about 648 acres of the terri- 
tory embraced by what are now the First ward of the city of Portage 
and portions of the Second, Third and Fourth wards — in other words, 
Winnebago Indian lands. The balance of Portage was still Indian 
territory until 1849, the year of the session of the Menominee lands. 
The land was generally known as the Grignon Tract, or French Claim 


Xo. 21, and to real estate men of the present as Webb & Bronson's plat 
of the town of Winnebago. The main road of the portage bounded the 
tract on the south, and the Indian agency building was near its northern 
boundary, west of Fox River. On the opposite shore was Fort Winne- 
bago in all the pride of its two years. 

The angle in the tract, at its most northerly point, is near the junc- 
tion of Conant and Adams streets, and was mentioned in the deed as 
"the corner of the pickets which surround the grave of the late John 
Ecuyer." The tract probably could have been conveyed to John B. 
L'Eeuyer, but he had conveyed his rights virtually to ]Mr. Grignon, 
who had occupied for a time the lands in question, as well as a number 
of his relatives. The northern line of the Grignon tract included not 
only L 'Ecuyer 's grave, but the old Indian burying ground, upon which 
Pauquette was about to erect the first church between Lake Michigan 
and the Jlississippi River. The deed issued from the general land office 
at Detroit and was clear of any complications, save "any right or claim 
which the said heirs of John Eeuj-er, deceased, may have in and to the 

L 'Ecuyer 's Grave 

Not long before his death. A. J. Turner wrote thus of the grave of 
Jean B. L'Eeuyer, one of the most noted landmarks on the famous 
Grignon Tract: "There are persons still residing in Portage who re- 
member the picketed grave of L'Eeuyer very well, which stood just in 
front of the window of the house on Lot 1. Block 185, now occupied by 
Mr. Eschwig, owned, I believe, by Bluford Turner. The writer of this 
article also remembers the grave well, which was marked by a small 
American flag over it, which had evidently been kept flying by some 
relative or friend of Mr. L'Eeuyer. 

" L'Eeuyer 's grave, which was thus made the most conspicuous 
landmark in what is now the city of Portage, was not, as some have 
supposed, obliterated by the grading of Conant Street several years 
ago, which operation required the removal of the remains of those who 
had been buried in the Indian burying ground at that point, but the 
bones of the famous pioneer remain where his kindred had placed him 
some ninety years ago. I am able to say this from the fact that some 
Government officers engaged in definitely fixing the boundaries of French 
Claim No. 21, no longer ago than last summer, run the lines of the 
claim, and when the point was reached at which L 'Ecuyer 's grave was 
supposed to be located, a small excavation was made by one of the work- 
men, and scarcely two feet from the surface L 'Ecuyer 's bones were 


found in a good state of preservation. The excavation was immediately 
filled up and the bones of the famous pioneer were left without further 
disturbance. A small flower bed about a couple of feet in front of the 
window soon appeared over the .spot. 

"Probably the good woman who utilized the loosened earth for the 
purpose of a flower bed was wholly unconscious of the fact that, as she 
planted her chrysanthemums in the prepared earth, she was marking 
the grave of one who was probably the first bona fide citizen of our 
city, and who had a hundred years before been an active business man 
at the portage, transporting from the Wisconsin to the Fox, by his 
primitive methods, the furs gathered as far away as the sources of the 
Missouri to a market at Quebec. 

"It is to be regretted that we do not know more of John B. L'Ecuj'er, 
who was one of, if not the very first person to make Portage his definite 
abiding place. We do know where his bones lie as a conspicuous land- 
mark. It would be fitting if some permanent tablet should be placed 
to ever mark the spot." 

The Post Cemetery 

And speaking of landmarks, the Soldiers' Cemetery belonging to 
the fort must not be forgotten. It is one of the landmarks which the 
Government, assisted by Wau-Bun Chapter, D. A. R., of Portage, keep 
in respectable repair. The grave guarded with special solicitude is 
that of Cooper Pixley, a soldier of the Revolution who died March 12, 
1855. It is believed that he has not to exceed half a dozen comrades 
in Wisconsin soil. In the Fort Cemetery are known to repose the re- 
mains of soldiers who have had their honorable part in the War of 
1812, and in the Seminole, Black Hawk, Mexican, Civil and Spanish- 
American wars. But most of the graves of those who fought in the 
earlier conflicts have been obliterated by a fire which swept over the 
ground many years ago. Besides the stone marking the burial place of 
Cooper Pixley, there is another of special interest, albeit no warrior 
lies beneath it ; only the infant child of Lyman Foot, one time surgeon 
of Fort Winnebago. Both are annually decorated by the ladies of the 
chapter, one with pride, the other with tenderness. 

Major Clark and Captain Low were both buried in the Soldiers' 
Cemetery, but their remains were finally removed to the family grounds 
elsewhere. Robert Irwin, Jr., the Indian agent, died at Fort Winne- 
bago in July, 1833, but his body was taken to Fort Howard for burial. 



To the right of the cemetery is a plat of ground surveyed and once 
laid out as the City of Wisconsinapolis. It was on the north side of 
Swan Lake in the town of Pacific and extended north to Stone Quarry 
Hill — that is, the plat covered this territory. Although the plat was 
filed by Doctor and Surgeon Foot, of Fort Winnebago, in January, 1837, 
Wisconsinapolis had received one vote during the previous year by some 
member of the territorial council when the question of the location of 
the capital was up before that body. But Wisconsinapolis was never 
anything more than a paper town, like Winnebago City on the south 
side of Swan Lake, Ida, just east of the first named, Wisconsin City 
and Baltimore City — all platted by Larned B. Harkness, who hoped that 
the territorial capital might be fixed at one of them. He was in the 
townsite business up to his neck, but none of his ventures seemed to 
evolve into anything substantial. 



First Sales op Columbia County Lands — The Land Districts — Me- 
nominee Indian Lands Surveyed — List of First Land Entries — 
Wallace Rowan, First Real Settler — Mrs. Rowan from "In- 
dianer" — The Rowan Inn — Judge Doty Objects to the Hours — 
Last of the Rowans — The English Colonies of Potters — Arrive 
IN THE Town op Scott — Other Trades Recognized — Pottersville 
— Twigg's Landing — Disbandment of the Society — Inhabitants 
of County (1846) 1,200 — Columbia County on Early Maps. 

By the end of 1833 a large amount of the public land of Wisconsin 
south and east of the Fox and Wisconsin rivers had been surveyed, and 
were placed in the Green Bay and Wisconsin districts, the ofSce for 
the latter being at Mineral Point. The lands in Columbia County which 
fell in the Green Bay District included the towns of Randolph, Court- 
land, Fountain Prairie, Columbus (with the site of the city of Colum- 
bus), Hampden, Otsego, Springvale, Scott, Marcellon, Wyocena, Low- 
ville, Leeds, Arlington ; all of De Korra lying in Range 9 east, Pacific ; 
so much of Portage as lies southeast of the Grignon Claim, and all of 
Fort Winnebago lying east of the Fox River. The whole of the present 
towns of Lodi and West Point, and so much of De Korra as lies south- 
east of the Wisconsin River in Range 8, were in the Wisconsin Land 
District. The towns of Lewiston, Newport and Caledonia, so much of 
Fort Winnebago as lies west of the Fox River, the Grignon Claim and 
all of Portage lying northwest of it and south of the Wisconsin, were 
not included in either district, being unsurveyed lands belonging to 
the jMenominees. 

First Sales of Columbia County Lands 

Public sales of the suiweyed lands were held in 1835, at Green Bay 
and Mineral Point, the four sections constituting the military reserva- 


tiou in Columbia County (near the center of which was Fort Winne- 
bago) being held out of the market by the General Government. Ex- 
cept these reserved sections and the unsurveyed ilenominee lands, all 
of Columbia County was immediately opened to private entry at $1.25 
per acre. But no entries were made in that year. In June of the fol- 
lowing year the Milwaiikee Land District was erected out of the southern 
part of the Green Bay District. In the new division was embraced the 
territory included in the present southern townsliips of Arlington, 
Leeds, Hampden and Columbus. 

The Land Districts 

It was provided in the act of Congress creating the Green Bay and 
Wisconsin land districts that they should embrace the country north 
of the Wisconsin and Fox rivers where the Indian title to the same had 
become extinguished. On the 1st day of November, 1837, the Winne- 
bago Indians ceded to the General Government all their lands east of 
the ^Mississippi River. By this treaty the United States came into 
possession of lands north of the Wisconsin, of which that portion lying 
in the great bend of that river (now Caledonia) was a part; so this 
territory, with much other, was ordered surveyed, being completed in 
1845. The Green Bay and Wisconsin land districts were then extended 
north, so that all of what is now the town of Caledonia lying in Range 
8 east, and so much of Portage south of the Wisconsin as lies in that 
range, fell into the Wisconsin Land District. 

Menominee Indian Lands Surveyed 

In October, 1848, the Menominee Indians ceded all their lands in 
Wisconsin to the United States, but, as stated, the latter did not come 
into possession of them until the spring of 1851. That part lying in 
Columbia County, which has already been described, was at once sur- 
veyed, and the two land districts again extended north, so that all of 
what is now the town of Caledonia lying in Range 9 east fell into the 
Green Bay District and all in Ranges 6, 7 and 8 east, into the Wisconsin 
District. This accounts for all but the Grignon Tract, which gradually 
descended from the original owners, who received their patent from the 
General Government, and was platted and subdivided, from time to 
time, by those who came into possession of it, as will be explained in 
detail as the story of the founding of Portage city progresses. 

The lands north of the Wisconsin River and west of the Fox were 
survej'ed in 1851 and came into the market in the following year. 


List of First Land Entries 

These facts are given as an introduction to the following table, 
showing the first land entries made in Columbia County, the record 
being presented alphabetically by towns, cities and villages: 

Arlington; Wallis Rowan; S. E. 14 N. E. 1/4 S. 3, T. 10, R. 9; entered June 6, 1836. 
Caledonia; Joseph Ward; S. E. % S. E. i/l S. 19, T. 12, R. 8; entered December 

18, 1846. 
Caledonia; A. J. Hewitt; N. V> N. E. % S. 30, T. 1'2, E. 8; entered December 

18, 1846. 
Courtland; Peter Goulden ; E. % S. E. 14 S. 10, T. 12, R. 12; entered June 5, 1844. 
Columbus. City; Lewis Ludington ; S. E. % S. 12, T. 12, B. 12; entered February 

18, 1839. 
Columbus, City; Lewis Ludington; N. E. V-i S. 13, T. 12, E. 12; entered February 

18, 1839. 
Columbus, City; John Hustis; S. W. % S. 12. T. 12, R. 12; entered February 

18, 1839. 
Columbus, City; John Hustis; X. W. % S. 13, T. 12, R. 12; entered February 

18, 1839. 
Columbus, Town; Lewis Ludington; E. % S. 24, T. 12, R. 12, entered February 

18, 1839. 

Dekorra; Wallis Rowan; N". E. % S. E. % S. 34, T. 11, R. 9; entered June 6. 1836. 
Fort Winnebago; Robert McPherson; E. % S. E. % S. 26, T. 13, R. 9; entered 

August 11, 1836. 
Fort Winnebago; Robert McPherson; S. E. V-t S. 27, T. 13, R. 9; entered 

August 11, 1836. 
Fountain Prairie; James C. Carr; W. Va N. W. V-l S. 34, T. 11, R. 12; entered July 

19, 1843. 

Hampden; Alfred Toplifif; S. W. % N. E. % S. 11, T. 10, R. 11; entered June 

28, 1844. 

Leeds; John Dalziel; N. W. % N. W. % S. 26, T. 10, R. 10; entered October 3, 1844. 
Lewiston; E. F. Lewis; N. W. % S. 21, T. 13, E. 8; entered October 28, 1852. 
Lodi; Ebenezer Hale; N. W. Vi S. 21, T. 10. R. 8; entered June 21, 1836. 
Lowville; Catherine Low; E. V- N- E. % S. 32, T. 11, R. 10; entered May 10, 1845. 
Marcellon; Hiram McDonald; N. W. % S. W. % S. 29, T. 13, R. 10; entered 

February 15, 1836. 
Newport; Michael Lafifan; S. W. % S. 12, T. 13, B. 6; entered October 11, 1852. 
Otsego; Samuel Emery; S. E. % N. E. Vt S. 10, T. 11, R. 11; entered December 

27, 1843. 

Pacific; David Butterfield; lot 3 S. 1, T. 12, R. 9; entered January 30, 1836. 
Portage; Augustin Grignon; entered April 26. 1833. 

Randolph; Mary Perry; W. Vo N. W. Vi S. 12, T. 13, R. 12; entered February 8, 1844. 
Scott; John Dodge; E. y, S. E. % S. 34, T. 13, R. 11; entered February 8, 1844. 
Springvale; John Dodge; W. Va S. E. V-t S. 1, T. 12, R. 11; entered April 29, 1845. 
West Point; S. Taylor, et al.; lot No. 5 S. 2, T. 10, R. 7; entered March 9, 1836. 
Wyocena; Joseph W. Turner; lots 5, 11, 12 S. 5, T. 12, R. 10; June 17, 1836. 
Wyocena; Joseph W. Turner; lot 5 S. 6, T. 12, R. 10; entered June 17, 1836. 
Lodi, Village; Ebenezer Hale; N. W. % S. 21, T. 10, R. 8; entered July 21, 1836. 
Cambria; James Waunkie; N. E. % N. E. Vi S. 6, T. 10, R. 12; entered April 2, 1845. 
Randolph, Village ; Allen Brunson ; E. V2 S. E. % S. 10, T. 10, E. 12 ; entered April 

29, 1846. 

Eio; .Jeremiah Folsom, Jr.; N. E. Vl N. E- Vi S. 10, T. 10, R. 11; entered August 

28, 1847. 

Fall River; John Brown; N. E. Vi N. E. V4 S. 34, T. 11, R. 12; entered October 

Kilbourn Citv; C. F. Legate; N. V2 ^- E. Vi S. 12, T. 13, R. 6; entered December 

7, 1852. " 

Pardeeville; W. W. Haskin; S. V, N. W. Vi S. 10, T. 12, E. 10; entered January 

8, 1848. 


Povnette: James Duane Doty; E. 14 S. W. H S. 34, T. 11, R. 9; entered February 

8, 1S37. 
Poynette; James Duane Dotv; W. i/. S. E. 14 S. 34, T. 11, B. 9; entered February 

8, 1837. 
Poynette; Alex. S. Hooe; X. E. U S. 34, T. 11, E. 9; entered February 8, 1837. 

Wallace Eowan, First Real "Settler" 

The first settler in what is now Columbia County was Wallace 
Rowan, a typical Hoosier, kind-hearted, honest and just enough eccen- 
tric to be interesting. He moved from Dane County with his wife and 
large family of children, having entered his forty acres at the Green 
Bay land office. He located on the military road and opened a tavern 

Log Cabin op the Real Settler 

a little south of what afterward became known as Dole's Mill, adjoin- 
ing the village of Poj'nette. "I was at his house," says Moses M. Sti'ong, 
"on the 19th of February, 1837, and there was no appearance of his 
having just arrived there." He was living in a log house, built by 
himself on his own land, and he was there to stay. There was no other 
settler, as the term should be used, within the present limits of Colum- 
bia County. 

Rowan's house was a double-log affair, built botli for tradiii'j; witli 
the Indians and for accommodating travelers. He was a man of medium 
height, rather thin and dark ; was sociable and talkative, and took 
great pains to make all who stopped with him as comfortable as pos- 
sible. Adjoining his tavern he cultivated a tract of land to corn, pota- 


toes, oats and vegetables ; tluis providing refreshment for man and 

Mrs. Rowan, from "Indianer" 

Mrs. Rowan appears to have been an energetic, if somewhat un- 
polished woman ; but she was a good housekeeper, and that was what 
the situation and the weary travelers called for. She was a stalwart 
champion of Indiana, as those found who sometimes twitted her on the 
name of her native state, so suggestive of savagery to the rough jokers. 
One of the most persistent repeatedly asked her to what tribe she be- 
longed, and got his answer: "Gol dern it, I don't belong to no tribe: 
I'm from Indianer!" 

The Rowan Inn 

]Mr. and Mrs. Rowan had two attractive daughters, who also assisted 
to make the inn popular. One picture of Rowan's Hotel is thus drawn 
by an old settler: "I arrived there in 1837 at 11 o'clock P. M. on 
horseback. The hostler, a Frenchman, was yet up, making fires to keep 
comfortable those who were sleeping on the floor. After taking care of 
my horse, I went into the house. There was a good fire, and the floor 
was covered with sleeping men. I asked the French hostler for some- 
thing to eat; so he went out into the kitchen and brought me a whole 
duck and two potatoes. He said that was all he could find cooked. 
After eating I felt like lying down. He pointed to a place between two 
men. I took my blanket and crowded myself into it. 

Judge Doty Objects to the Hours 

"Next morning the teamsters got up to feed their teams, and in 
taking out their corn they scattered some inside and outside the house. 
James Duane Doty (afterward governor) was lying next to the door in 
his robes. I was next to him in my blanket. A lean, long, old sow found 
the corn that the teamsters had scattered outside the door. This encour- 
aged her to follow up the corn that was scattered inside. Finding some 
among Doty's robes, she put her nose under hira and rolled him over, 
when he exclaimed 'Landlord! Landlord! you must postpone my break- 
fast for some time, as I am not yet rested.' 

"Then I heard some curious noise outside which kept me awake; 
so I got up and found that the noise was created by a grist mill erected 
in front of the door for grinding corn into meal. A pestle hung to the 


end of a spring pole; a mortar was made by burning out a hollow in 
the top of a stump. We all of us had the first mess made out of this 
mill, and you could compare it to nothing but the fine siftings of stone- 
coal, such as you find in a l)lacksmith's shop. But we had good coffee 
and plenty of honey. We all made a hearty breakfast and were thank- 
ful for it," 

Last of the Rowans 

Besides his tavern in De Korra, Rowan kept a trading house at 
Portage in 1838. Two years lat«r, with a man named Wood, he made 
a claim on Baraboo River, building a sawmill at the upper end of Bara- 
boo village. They supplied the lumber used in building some of the 
first houses in that place and made a business also of rafting lumber 
down the Wisconsin River. In 1842 Rowan left Columbia County and 
took his family with him to Baraboo. He soon after died, and neither 
his eldest daughter Ducky, the beauty of the family, nor the homely 
but helpful wife, long survived him. 

The English Colonies of Potters 

The most important "lump" addition to the pioneer settlers of 
Columbia County occurred in 1847, when fifty unemployed potters of 
Staffordshire, England, located in the town of Scott. The emigrants 
were under the control of the Potters' Joint Stock Emigration Society 
and Savings Fund, an English organization designed to encourage the 
purchase of lands in the western states of this country for homesteads 
and permanent settlement. Its fund was raised from weekly contribu- 
tions of each member, the amount depending on the number of shares 
held. Each share was fixed at one pound sterling. 

It was proposed, with the moneys thus realized, that a certain num- 
ber of families, chosen by ballot, should be sent to the society's land. 
Each family was entitled to twenty acres of land, and the migrating 
expenses of any colony were defrayed by the general fund. It was 
also permitted any member wdio had paid one pound for his share, the 
privilege of emigrating at his own expense; thereupon he was allowed 
the choice of twenty acres of land, agreeing to cultivate it and erect a 
dwelling on it. Anyone elected by ballot who did not choose to go 
could designate a substitute. Women were permitted to become mem- 
bers of the society, but could not hold office. 

In 1846, when a sufficient emigrating fund had been raised, Hamlet 
Copeland, John Sawyer and James Hammond were sent out by the 
society to collect information and locate lands for the use of such union 


potters as desired to go to the United States. They brought with them 
a fine set of fancy pottery as a present to the general land commissioner 
at Washington. When they arrived in that city the commissioner was 
absent, but his brother, who was a clerk in the department, received 
them — also the pottery, in the name of his chief — and advised them to 
seek homestead lands in Wisconsin. Coming to the state they carefully 
looked over the field, and selected 1,640 acres in a body, lying in the 
town of Scott. This they surveyed into twenty-acre tracts, on each of 
which was to be erected a dwelling house; all according to the regula- 
tions of the society. 

In Easter week of 1847 a colony of fifty-two started for the Western 
lands. Among them were representatives of the eight branches of the 
potters' union — Isaac Smith, Henry Dooley, Enoch Pickering, George 
Summerfield, Joseph Cloous, Samuel Fox, George Robertshaw and Wil- 
liam Bradshaw. The colonists left the potteries of Stafl'ordshire ac- 
companied by a band of music and several thousand people, who came 
to bid them farewell and God-speed. Taking ship at Liverpool, they 
sailed for New York, landing at Castle Garden after a five-weeks' 
voyage. By way of Erie canal they journeyed to Buffalo, N. Y., and 
thence to Milwaukee by lake. Here the party was met by James Ham- 
mond, who was to be their conductor to the selected lands. 

Arrive in the Town op Scott 

Arriving in Scott, they found but four houses erected, and all in 
an unfinished condition. The men therefore went to work and built 
houses for themselves, in the meantime living as best they could. At 
that time provisions were hard to obtain, with or without money. For 
days and sometimes weeks, bread was not to be obtained; potatoes, too, 
were scarce, butter unknown, and the outlook was dreary indeed. 

Discouraging reports were sent back to friends in England, which 
had the effect of discouraging further emigration and crippling the 
work of the society, ilany who had taken an active interest in the 
work withdrew their aid, so much so that sufficient funds could not be 
raised to even supply the wants of those who had been sent out. At 
this juncture the society was reorganized, and instead of limiting its 
membership to the potters, all trades were admitted. 

Other Trades Recognized 

A circular issued by the general agent of the society in May, 1848, 
contains this: "At the commencement of the Potters' Joint Stock 


Emigration Society, and up to the present time, its operations were con- 
fined to potters alone. It is now the pleasure of the founder to announce 
that these operations are thrown open to the service of other trades, 
and that the success of the potters in their land movement for trade's 
protection is of the most cheering character. Apart from strikes, they 
have succeeded in raising the price of their labor upward of twenty 
percent, and throughout a long and unparalleled stagnation of trade, 
they have conserved the. improved price thus secured. This great suc- 
cess is wholly a consequence of their land operations. Instead of re- 
sorting to ruinous strikes, they have put the ax to the root of all Trades' 
evil — sui-plus labor. In ninety-nine eases out of every 100, these just 
demands have been complied with ; and when refused and men dis- 
charged from their employ, these objects of per.seeution were at once 
removed to self-supporting twenty-acre farms, rejoicing in their release 
from the oppressors' yoke." 


On the first purchase of land by the society in the town of Scott 
were settled, in the first year, 134 persons. The settlement was called 
Pottersville. The new rules adopted by the society secured to each 
individual not only twenty acres of land, but a two j^ears' credit for 
twelve months' provisions on the store of the colony, five acres of his 
tract broken, sown and fenced, a log dwelling, and passage money of 
himself, wife, and children under eighteen years of age. 

Twigg's L.vnding 

In 1849 Thomas Twigg was sent out with full power to purchase 
50,000 acres of land,, and as agent for the society he bought extensive 
tracts in the towns of Fort Winnebago, Columbia County, and Mound- 
ville, Marquette County. On Section 4, in the northern part of Fort 
Winnebago Township on the banks of the Fox River, he opened a 
society store and a blacksmith shop, calling the little settlement Twigg 's 
Landing. The means of transportation across the river was given the 
rather high-sounding name of Emancipation Ferry. 


But the English colonists were not yet fully emancipated from their 
troubles. The stewards in charge of the store contracted debts which 
they could not meet. Suits were brought against the society, judgment 


olitained and a levy made upon the more improved lauds in the town 
of Seott. Friends of the parties then living on the land bought it in 
and permitted the occupants to remain thereon. News of this state of 
affairs reached England, and confidence was destroyed in the manage- 
ment of the society, which soon disbanded. A few of the emigrants 
returned to the mother country, but the greater part remained, some 
of whom entered other lands in Columbia and adjoining counties and 
became substantial citizens. 

Inhabitants of County (1846), 1,200 

With the spread of the land surveys and the establishment of land 
tenures on a solid basis, immigrants came to Columbia County for the 
purpose of making permanent homes within its borders; so that by 
1846, when it assumed a civic body, there were over 1,200 persons under 
the protection of the county government. But before commencing the 
story of the political creation of the county, there are several topics 
which seem best to be considered as logically belonging to the earlier, 
or pioneer era: First, the importance of the portage, as indicated by 
various French, English and American maps covering more than two 
centuries; and secondly, the natural and artificial means of transpor- 
tation for which Columbia County has become marked in the develop- 
ment of interior Wisconsin. 

Columbia County on Early Maps 

As early as 1632 Champlain, then at Quebec, drew a map of the valley 
of the St. Lawrence and of the region of the upper lakes — the first 
attempt to cover that territory. His delineations of the country to the 
westward and the northwestward of Lake Huron were wholly from 
Indian reports. Upon this map Fox River is placed to the north of 
Lake Superior and the Wisconsin is rudely given as leading into a 
northern sea. There is a narrow space between the two rivers, and 
possibly it had been described to him by the savages. 

But tlie first map of the Fox and Wisconsin rivers and the portage 
made with any accuracy was by Father jMarquette, and we have seen 
how it was made from actual observation. The portage is distinctly 
traced and the general course of the two rivers given. 

Other maps were published down to 1768, when a very credita])le 
one in consideration of the circumstances under which it was made, 
appeared in the "Travels" of J. Carver, the English voyager already 
alluded to. This map locates the "carrying place," and depicts Swan 


Lake and traces with much precision the course of Bai-aboo River along 
which Carver passed on his way toward the far Northwest. On the 
south side of Lake Puekaway is located the "Winnebago Upper Town 
and on Sauk Prairie, down the Wisconsin, the "Saukies Chief Town." 
At the time Carter drew his map the portage was substantially the 
boundary line between the hunting grounds of the Winuebagoes upon 
the Fox River and the Sacs on the "Wisconsin. But in the course of a 
few j'ears the former had crowded the Sacs far down the "Wisconsin 

In 1S30 John Farmer, of Detroit, published a "^lap of the Terri- 
tories of Michigan and Ouiseonsin. " Fort Winnebago appears as if 
situated between the Fox and Wisconsin, while Roi's (Le Roy's) house 
occupies the site where the fort was, in fact, located — that is, on the 
east side of the Fox. Pauquette's place is designated farther down 
the last mentioned stream, but on the west side. The Baraboo River is 
noted as Bonibau's Creek, while Duck Creek appears by its proper name, 
but iu French — Riviere aux Canards. Neenah Creek is put down as 
The Fork of the Fox. Winnebago villages are represented down the 
Fox and the Wisconsin and upou the Baraboo, but none so near the 
Portage of the Ouiseonsin as to bring them within the present bounds 
of Columbia County. 

In Farmer's revised map of 1836 Fort Winnebago appears in its 
correct location, and but one road — the Military — is represented as 
leading from it. 

The first "^lap of Wiskonsin Territory, Compiled from Public Sur- 
veys" published in the late '30s, contains a representation of so much 
of the present Columbia County as lies east of the Fox and Wisconsin 
rivers, the northwest section being still held by the Menominees. Fort 
Winnebago is correctly located on the east side of the Fox River, the 
Grignon Tract occupying the space between the two rivers. The pro- 
posed canal riins from the outlet of Swan Lake to the point on Duck 
Creek where the stream is crossed by the main road leading south from 
Fort Winnebago. This road continues on to Pauquette, afterward 
called PojTiette, then in a southwesterly direction toward the Blue 
Mounds. Duck Creek appears as Wauonah River, Rock Run as Taynah 
River and Spring Creek as Ockee River. Pauquette is a small village. 
A larger one is Ida, on the north side of Swan Lake and a still larger 
one De Korra, on the Wisconsin. A road leads out of De Korra due 
east into Dodge County, to what is now Horicon, a branch 
a more northerlv direction toward Fond du Lac. 



The Military Road — In Columbia County — Territorial and Other 
Highways — Preliminary Survey op the Fox and Wisconsin 
Rivers — The Old Portage Canal — The Canal in 1851 — New 
Canal Completed by the Government — Boscobel Really 
Through — Control of Floods by Levee Systems — Cost and His- 
tory OP Great Public Work — First Dyke Gives Way — Lewiston 
Levee IIebuilt — Another Levee to Protect Caledonia and 
Portage — Floods of the Wisconsin River — La Crosse & Mil- 
wAutrEE Railroad — Reaches Points in Columbia County — 
Development op the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul — 
Chicago & North Western — Wisconsin Central Commenced at 
Portage — Completion of Line (1871) — The M., St. Paul & 
S. Ste. Marie. 

As the Pox and Wisconsin valleys formed the natural highway 
connecting the Great Lakes with the Mississippi, their protection by 
the General Government meant everything for the development of 
Central and Southern Wisconsin. Hence the construction of Fort 
Howard at the eastern terminus, Fort Crawford at the western, and 
Fort Winnebago, midway at the portage. For about half of the year 
furs and provisions could be transported by water, but the Government 
troops passing from post to post, or engaged in movements against 
the Indians, had to do the best they could, forcing their way through 
uncharted forests, wading through swamps, throwing rough bridges 
over swollen streams, and, when they were on the march or called into 
active service, being obliged to endure great hardships. 

The experiences of the Black Hawk war, and the probability that 
there might be further trouble mth the Indians before the country 
could be considered fairly safe for purposes of settlement, induced 
the Government to build a crude military road along the historic Indian 
trails up the Fox and down the Wisconsin to the Mississippi. 


The ^Military Road 

Therefore early in 1835, Lewis Cass, then secretary of war, sent 
out orders to open, lay out and bridge a road from Fort Howard to 
Fort Crawford, via Fond du Lae and Fort Winnebago. The soldiers at 
Fort Crawford were to build and bridge this Military Road to Fort 
Winnebago; those stationed at Fort Winnebago from their post to the 
Fond du Lac River, bridging that stream, and those at Fort Howard 
to open the road from their post to Fond du Lac. The garrisons at the 
three posts were under the general command of Brigadier Gen. George 
M. Brooke, and comprised the Fifth Regiment of the Regular Army. 
The active survey and building of the road were entrusted to Lieuten- 
ant Centre and James Duane Doty. The latter was then forty-five 
years old, and years before, as secretary to Lewis Cass and judge 
under appointment of President Monroe, had traveled through the 
territory and became especially familiar with the Fox and Wisconsin 
valleys. Both were splendid men to put through the Military Road. 

In Columbia County 

As for Columliia County, the road entered it from the south on 
Section 31, Township 10, Range 9 east (Town of Arlington), ran in a 
northeasterly direction to what is now Poynette, and thence almost 
due north to Fort Winnebago. From that post it ran through the 
southern sections of the present towns of Fort Winnebago, Mareellon, 
Scott and Randolph, to Fox Lake, Dodge County, and thence to Wau- 
pun. Fond du Lac and Fort Howard. 

It was, as stated, a crude affair, but a great improvement over no 
highway whatever. The road was built by cutting through timber 
land, clearing a track about two rods wide, and setting mile stakes. On 
the prairies the latter were set and small mounds of earth thrown 
up. Where stone could be found, it was used; otherwise the earth was 
thro^^Ti up. On the marshes and other low places corduroy roads were 
made by crossing timbers and covering them with brush and eartli. 

Territorial and Other Highways 

In 1837 a Territorial Road was opened from Fort Winnebago, run- 
ning east through the town by that name into Mareellon, thence in a 
northeasterly direction into Marquette Count}', intersecting the Mili- 
tary Road at Fond du Lac. This highway has often been mistaken for 


the Military Road, from the fact that during certain seasons of tli" 
■ year it was traveled more than the other. 

About the same time two roads were opened from the village of 
De Korra — one taking an easterly course and intersecting the Military 
Road "near Fox Lake ; the other running east, through Horicon, Dodge 
County, and thence to Lake Michigan, at a point then called Sauk 
Harbor (now Saukville, Ozaukee County). This road was surveyed 
by the General Government. 

Another road was opened from Swan Lake, taking a southeasteiiy 
direction into Jefferson County. Fi'om Pauquette (Poyiiette) a road 
was opened south to the City of the Four Lakes, and another, to Madi- 
son. These comprised all the roads laid out in the county previous to 

Preliminary Survey of the Fox and AVisconsin Rivers 

In the following year (1839) a preliminary survey of the Fox and 
Wisconsin rivers was made by Government engineers, with the idea of 
finally perfecting a great navigable waterway across the state. Even 
ten years before, the subject of the improvement had been agitated, 
one of its chief features being the construction of a canal at the portage. 
To tell the truth, in a few words, the building of the canal at Portage 
City and the construction of a score of locks along the Fox River 
comprise the sum total of the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers Improvement, 
about which tons of literature have been created. And it has taken 
over sixty years to accomplish this. The scheme is a good one, but it 
has been terribly bungled. 

Changes in Management 

Active work was not begun on the Upper Fox until after the admis- 
sion of Wisconsin as a state in 1848. In 1853 the governor advised 
that as the enterprise was in a hopeless state financially it be incor- 
porated as the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers Improvement Company. His 
suggestion was followed and in 1854 Congress added to the land grants 
which had already been voted by the state to aid the work. In 1856 
the company was obliged to reconstruct a portion of the work already 
done, but capital was scarce and a little later Eastern capitalists bought 
the enterprise and reorganized it as the Green Bay & Mississippi Canal 
Company. In 1866, after 680,000 acres of land and $2,000,000 had 
gone into the "improvements," the work was turned over to the Fed- 
eral Goveniment, and whatever has really been accomplished has been 


by United States engineers. To all outward appearances the great 
waterway scheme has been abandoned, although it may be resuscitated, 
and of late years the Federal Government has confined its work to the 
Lower Fox. 

The Old Portage Canal 

The harrowing experience of the two-mile canal at Portage is typ- 
ical of the general history of the Fox and Wisconsin Improvement. As 
early as 1837 a company was chartered as the Portage Canal Com- 
pany. The incorporators, owners of the village plat, were Sheldon 
Thompson, of Buffalo; DeGarmo Jones, of Detroit; Robert McPherson, 
Daniel Whitney, S. P. Griffith and others. Digging for the canal com- 
menced in 1838 at a point on the Fox River now crossed by the Chicago, 
Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad. Its course may be described as on the 
line of Bronson Avenue about two rods north, entering the Wisconsin 
River near Mac Street. After $10,000 had been spent by the company 
work was abandoned. Then the scheme slumbered for eight years, 
when Congress granted the State of Wisconsin alternate sections of 
land for three miles on each side of the Fox River to aid in the build- 
ing of locks and the canal. The state accepted the grant and on the 
1st of June, 1849, work was again commenced under the common- 
wealth. But the contractors and the State Board of Public Works 
quarreled, the workmen did not get their wages for weeks and some- 
times months at a time, and after a couple of years of vexatious com- 
plications the canal was again abandoned. 

The Canal in 1851 

A resident of Portage thus describes the state of affairs in March, 
1851: "The banks of the canal at this place are cnnnbliug before 
the thaw, in many places, and falling into the stream. The planking is 
in great part afloat. By prompt attention the work done on the canal 
may be saved to the state. As it is now it presents a melancholy spec- 
tacle of premature decay. The unpaid laborers, lately employed on the 
work, whose destitution and wrongs have aroused the indignation and 
.sympathies of our citizens, will hardly assist in its repair unless they 
are secured in their pay, nor will they suffer strangers to be duped and 
wronged as they themselves have been." 

Repairs were subsequently made, the water let in, and on May 24. 
1851, a boat attempted to pass the canal. The "attempt" is thus chron- 
icled by a local paper: "The beautiful steamer, 'John ]\Iitchell,' nearly 



accomplished the feat of passing through the canal at this place on 
Saturday last. She came up as far as Main street. As the 'John Mit- 
chell' came up the canal, the 'Enterprise' came up the Wisconsin river 
to the head of the canal. The blustering rivalry between these inhab- 
itants of different waters (the throat of each giving its best puff and 
whistle alternately) was quite exhilarating, and called out a large con- 
course of citizens to gaze upon the scene presented and make predic- 
tions for the future. After a short time boats and citizens withdrew, 
amid strains of music, and the noise and confusion were over." 

The water was drawai off and the work of strengthening the banks 
and bottom, to prevent the (juicksand from pouring in and filling up 

\Vis('()x>iK River Lock, Portage 

the bed, was proceeded with. But evidently somebody had sadly blun- 
dered, for on August 31st the water was let in, and on the following 
morning the bottom planking was floating about on the surface. Dur- 
ing the next month the high waters of Wisconsin River cut a channel 
through the southern bank of the canal, some fifty yards wide and ten 
feet deep, and a warehouse, several dwellings, a quantity of lumber and 
most of the canal planking were washed into the Fox River. 

New Canal Completed by the Government 

Virtually no further work was done on the canal for more than 
twenty years, or until the Government engineers under Colonel Hous- 


ton, commeneed operations in the fall of 1S74. It was virtually a new 
undertaking. The contractors were Couro, Starke & Company, of 
]\lilwaukee, who commenced work at the lower end of the old canal 
channel, using a steam excavator, wheelbarrows and small construction 
cars. By June, 1876, the canal had been completed — two and a half 
miles long, seventy-five feet wide and seven feet from the top of the 
revetment to the bed. There was sis feet of water. 

On the 30th of June, 1876, the United States steamer Boscobel 
passed through the canal — the first boat to do so. 

As completed, the Portage City lock connects it with the Wisconsin 
River, having a lift of nine feet, and the Fort Winnebago lock, with 
a lift of six feet connects it with the Fox River. Between gates, the 
locks are thirty-five feet wide and 160 long. 

Boscobel Really Through 

As a little item of interest, it may be mentioned that when the con- 
tractors turned the canal over to the Government on July 30, 1876, 
the party selected to make the trip of inspection comprised Hon. Alva 
Stewart, Hon. R. L. D. Potter, and Messrs. G. J. Cox, E. E. Chapin, 
A. J. Turner, T. L. Kennan, W. D. Fox, Fred W. Schulze, E. S Baker 
and John Cable. The trial trip on the Boscobel, which concluded with- 
out a hitch, was the natural occasion for the. unloading of considerable 
history. "One who was there" remarked: "As the steamer coursed 
its way dowTi to the Fox, trains passed by on the several divisions of 
the railroad. For some distance the theme of conversation was the 
change wrought in the line of trade and commerce by the introduction 
of steam power, and we all wondered how Louis Joliet regarded it, if 
his spirit was floating about in this vicinity, where 203 years before, 
on the 17th of June, he had hauled his batteau across this same port- 
age on his voyage of discover.y, where steamboats and railroads now 
hold sway." 

CoxTROL OF Floods by Levee Systems 

But the problems growing out of the natural relations which exist 
between the Fox and Wisconsin rivers were not confined to joining 
their waters by an artificial channel; a greater one and a more press- 
ing problem was how to regulate them so that property and life would 
be conserved. With the Wisconsin level eight feet above that of the 
Fox at all average stages, and twenty feet, at flood tide, evidently 
something had to be done to protect the low lands adjacent to the 


Wisconsin and the entire Upper Fox Valley for a distance of 100 miles. 
Hence the Levee System, the most important section of which is the 
twenty miles constructed in Portage, the Town of Lewiston northwest 
of it, and in Caledonia and Pacific, to the south and southeast. In the 
earlier years, commencing with 1882, the system, which extended along 
the Baraboo River into Sauk County, was controlled by the General 
Government, but since 1901 the work has been supervised by the State 
Levee Commission, of which Leonard S*. Smith is chief engineer. 

Cost and History of Great Public Work 

From first to last fully $150,000 have been expended on the levee 
system by the General Government, the state, the towns named, the 
City of Portage — about .$50,000 by the last named. It is by far the 
most important public work prosecuted in Columbia County. 

On December 31, 1900, a memorial was presented to Congress, 
signed by J. E. Jones, mayor of Portage; Peter A. Paulson, chairman 
of Lewiston; Hugh Roberts, chairman of Caledonia, and George Ker- 
shaw, chairman of Pacific, asking that the levee system in Columbia 
County be inspected, strengthened and enlarged. From this memo- 
rial is condensed a history of the great public work, so essential to the 
safety of the settlers of the Upper Fox Valley, the City of Portage and 
adjacent country. 

The territory bordering on the Wisconsin River in Columbia 
County for a distance of about ten miles above the City of Portage and 
six miles below, is for the greater part so low that in seasons of unusual 
floods the adjacent lands were formerly submerged, the waters over- 
flowing the right bank of the river expanding across the prairie to the 
Baraboo River, and those over the left bank finding an outlet across 
the low lands above Portage into the Big Slough, or Neenah Creek, 
and thence to the Fox River. The lowest point where the Wisconsin 
River first left its banks was about six miles above Portage on its left 
bank, where the Big Slough at its course was separated from the river 
by a short distance. 

First Dyke Gives Way 

As the country in the valleys of the Neenah and Fox rivers became 
occupied and highways and railroads were constructed, the necessity 
for shutting off the discharge of the Wisconsin River into those streams 
became fully apparent, and in 1861 a small dyke was constructed 
across the most exposed points, from money arising from the sale of 


reclaimed Government lands in the Town of Lewiston. This dyke 
answered its purpose very well, except in emergencies, but during the 
high waters of 1880 — it was swept away at several points. The valleys 
of the Neenah and Fox were converted into a lake 100 miles in length 
and several miles in width, inflicting vast damage to owners of prop- 
erty and interrupting the running of trains on the Chicago, Milwaukee 
& St. Paul and the Wisconsin Central lines for from a week to ten days. 

Lewiston Lev'ee Rebuilt 

Property owners in the devastated district at first charged the dams 
at the outlet of Lake Winnebago with being the source of the floods; 
but the state saw the matter in its true light, and in 1882 to guard 
against a recurrence of the disaster appropriated from its swamp land 
fund $6,000 to construct a suitable levee at the exposed places on the 
north side of the river above Portage, in the Town of Lewiston. Upon 
a survey being made the amount advanced to the General Government 
was found to be inadequate, and Congress in the same year, to prevent 
further damage to its locks and other improvements along the Fox 
River, appropriated another $6,000 to aid in the construction of the 
Lewiston Levee. But the President vetoed the bill which embraced this 
item, and the measure finally passed cut down the appropriation to 
$3,000. But the Town of Lewiston and the County of Columbia applied 
what resources they could, although the Lewiston Levee is still consid- 
ered the weakest section in the entii'e system. 

Another Levee to Protect Caledoni.v and Portage 

The construction of the levee in Lewiston resulted in throwing tlie 
waters of the Wisconsin that had formerly escaped to the north into 
the Fox River, over the lowlands south of the river and so into the 
valley of the Baraboo, through which they found their way back into 
the Wisconsin River some five miles south of Portage. This result 
necessitated the building of a levee by the Town of Caledonia and the 
City of Portage, some ten miles in length on the right bank of the 
river. This was constructed in 1883, but with repeated strengthening 
was found to be quite inadequate to withstand floods of any severity. 

Government Levee, Last of the System 

In 1886 Congress passed an act providing for the construction of a 
levee on the east bank of the Wisconsin River, in the City of Portage 


and Town of Pacific. At the time of the unusual rise of 1900 the Gov- 
ernment engineer requested the mayor to act as his agent, and all 
possible efforts were made by the city authorities to preserve the levee 
intact. But the river rose to such an unprecedented height that 
crevasses occurred in it and much damage followed. During the sum- 
mer the breaks were repaired by the Government and strengthened in 
some degree, but in a manner quite insufficient to withstand a second 
flood later in the season. The upper, or Wisconsin River lock, narrowly 
escaped destruction by the terrible floods of 1900. The Fox River lock 
was badly shattered. 

Since 1901 the state has assumed charge of the levee system and has 
appropriated some $60,000, most of the late work being designed to 
reconstruct the Government levee which protects the eastern part of 
the City of Portage, the Government canal and the four lines of rail- 
road radiating therefrom. The last appropriation was made in 1912 
and considerable work was accomplished along these lines in 1913. 

Floods op the "Wisconsin River 

That the people of Poi-tage and of the Fox and "Wisconsin valleys 
had cause for constant alarm before the levee system of Columbia 
County was as effective as it is now, will be evident even to those who 
have not lived in the threatened, and often ravaged territory, by a 
brief review of the seasons when the "Wisconsin River has gone on a 
rampage and uproariously left its banks. The last occasion for general 
alarm was on October 11, 1911, on the afternoon of that day the United 
States gauge at Portage recording 12.9 feet, which was within a foot 
of the "Wisconsin River lock and three-tenths of an inch higher than 
the water mark of the 1905 flood. But the levees held, and a news- 
paper prediction of what might happen was not especially appalling 
to even timid people : "If the rise continues it is likely the water will 
go over the levees on the Caledonia side first, and thus relieve the situa- 
tion on the city side. The water is now within a foot of the top of the 
"Wisconsin River lock. A break at the lock would let a big head of 
water down the canal and do immense damage, but that is regarded as 
almost impossible. The river certainly would go over the levees in 
■many places and lower the flood before it could reach the top of the 

The first flood of the "Wisconsin at Portage was in 1838. There 
were two feet and a half of water on the flat between the Wisconsin 
and Fox rivers in the main current between those streams. It is said 
that a loaded boat from Galena drawing two feet of water crossed from 


the Wisconsin River to Fort Winnebago. The flat between Portage 
and Baraboo was a sea. The water was eight feet above the low water 

The second very high water occurred in 1845 and hieked one inch 
of reaching the mark of 1838. It occurred in July and lasted five days. 
The third flood occurred in 1866, and was an inch lower than that of 
1845. There was also very high water in 1850 and 1852. 

In 1880 came the record-breaker up to that time. The Portage 
Democrat of June 18th, that year, tells why: "Portage is as nearly 
isolated from the outside world as a walled city with the gates closed. 
Turn your eyes in whatever direction and they rest upon a waste of 
water. We can imagine something of the sensation Noah experienced 
when he navigated his craft into the harbor on Mt. Ararat. Never 
before in the history of floods has so much property been destroyed 
in the vicinity of Portage. The bottom lands l)etween the Wisconsin 
and Baraboo rivers are inundated. The levee in Lewiston gave way 
Tuesday night, June 15th, and the back water of the Wisconsin now 
finds an outlet through Big Slough, down Neenah Creek and into the 
Fox River. The plank road is covered inches deep and the marshes 
between that highway and Swan Lake would serve a better purpose as 
fish ponds than for cattle grazing. Trains are suspended on all roads 
except the old line, and that track is not more than two inches above 
the water. Unless the floods soon subside, Portage wiW lie compelled 
to adopt the Venetian mode of travel. ' ' 

During the week of June 14, 1880, the main line of the Milwaukee 
Road was flooded between Portage and Kilboumi on Lewiston Marsh, 
where the river broke through the levee, and the Democrat of the 18th 
says: "A section of the track on Lake George marsh is flooded and 
men are at work night and day barricading against the waves. The 
Madison and Portage branch between the main line switch and Wood's 
crossing is submerged, and travel on that railroad has been obstructed 
several days. The Wisconsin Central is in its worse condition. Not a 
train has run above Stevens Point since Wednesday. Three or four 
miles beyond Stevens Point the track is built along the bank of the 
Wisconsin, and there an engineer lost his life on Tuesday. His family 
were sick at the Point and the unfortunate man was drowned trying to 
reach them." 

In October, 1881, the water reached a height within an inch of the 
flood of 1880. The levee at Lewiston again broke on the 4th, and from 
that time until the 29th no trains were running on the Milwaukee & 
Portage Branch of the Milwaukee Road. The entrance to Portage 


from Caledonia, Fort Winnebago and the plank road was completely 
obstructed for several weeks. 

By the evening of April 23, 1900, the river registered 11.6 at Port- 
age, overflowing the top of the shorter gauge then in use at the Wiscon- 
sin River lock. That afternoon, at 4 o'clock, one hundred feet of 
the First Ward Levee near the old toll gate broke out, flooding the 
adjacent fiats. The strong current setting across the marshes toward 
the Fox submerged the Madison branch and cut a 300-ft. gap in the 
main line of the Milwaukee Railroad. Fort Winnebago Lock was partly 
washed oiit and had to be rebuilt.. Nearly the whole First Ward was 

Scene in Flooded District, South from Kilbourn 

under water. The flood was held at Wisconsin River Lock only by 
erecting embankments of bags filled with sand. 

In the fall of 1900 came another flood, on the 9th of October a new 
and longer gauge showing 12.5 feet in the Wisconsin at Portage. 
Trains were again forced to quit on the Portage and Madison line. 
Levees on the south bank broke, and travel between the city and Cale- 
donia was suspended. 

At 6 P. M., June 11, 1905, the Wisconsin rose majestically to a height 
of 12.6 feet, which remained the record until the flood of 1911. By 
this time the system especially protective of Portage had been so 
extended and strengthened that all the levees held except the one near 
the Barden Place, which let several feet of water onto the Caledonia 


low lands. As usual the Madison & Portage Railroad tracks got a 
bath from the Duck Creek backwater and several trains were held up. 

As stated, although the flood of 1911 was of unprecedented height, 
the levee system proved its worth. Outside of Portage the most uneasi- 
ness was felt at Kilbouni City, where the waters reached a terrific 
volume and battered at the gi-eat power dam which is the source of the 
electrical supply of Milwaukee, Portage, Watertown and Kilbourn 

The floods of 1905 and 1911 have fully proven the splendid protect- 
ive value of the levee system to the people and the institutions of the 
Fox and Wisconsin valleys, not only fixed in Columbia County, but 
for miles beyond its borders. 

La Crosse & ^Milwaukee Railroad 

Having passed in review the chief features of the Columbia County 
waterways, natural and artificial, her modern and most important 
means of communication remain to be described — her iron ways. A 
glance at her map is all that is required to know that the Chicago, 
Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad is her all-important agency for trans- 
portation and communication. The father of the system, which covers 
all except one northern township of the county and its southwestern 
corner, was the La Crosse & ililwaukee Railroad Company. It was 
incorporated in 1852, among its organizing commissioners being Hugh 
McFarlane, one of the proprietors of the village site of Portage. In 
the following year the Milwaukee & Fond du Lac and the Milwaukee, 
Fond du Lac & Green Bay railroads were consolidated, and the con- 
stniction of a line commenced from Milwaukee to Fond du Lac. In 
1854 the Milwaukee, Fond du Lac & Green Bay and the La Crosse & 
Milwaukee were consolidated under the latter name, proceeding ^vith 
the construction of the road already commenced, but turning the line 
toward La Crosse. 

Reaches Points in Columbia County 

The road was completed to Fox Lake on November 1, 1855, to Port- 
age, March 14, 1857. and to Kilbourn City, in August of the same year. 
This is the branch which enters Columbia County, via Randolph and 
Cambria, taking in Pardeeville, and then passing along the northern 
shores of Swan Lake, to Portage and Lewiston, and thence to Kilbourn 
City. The entire line was opened to La Crosse in October, 1858. 


Development of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul 

In 1863 the Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Company was formed 
by New York and Milwaukee capitalists, the corporation having pur- 
chased the western division of the La Crosse & Milwaukee line running 
between Portage and La Crosse. Their articles of agreement also 
stipulated that they might purchase the Milwaukee & Western (Water- 
town) Road, from Milwaukee to Columbus. These and other minor 
lines were absorbed by the vigorous Milwaukee & St. Paul, which, in 
order to own a through line from Milwaukee to La Crosse, constructed 
twenty-eight miles of track from Columbus to Portage. That section 
in Columbia County was opened to travel in September, 1864, its sta- 
tions beyond Columbus being Fall River, Doylestown, Rio and 
Wyocena. ' 

In 1872 the ]\Iilwaukee & St. Paul Company purchased the Chicago 
& St. Paul Railroad running from St. Paul to Winona and Crescent, 
opposite La Crosse, and in the same year the line was completed 
between Chicago and Milwaukee. Then, in February, 1874, by an act 
of the Wisconsin Legislature, the name of the company became the 
Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Company. 

In 1856-7 the La Crosse & Milwaukee Company partly graded a 
track for a railroad between Madison and Portage, but with the col- 
lapse of that company the work was abandoned. In 1869 a new com- 
pany was formed which procured the right-of-way and grade of the 
old concern. Principally through the efforts of James Campbell and 
R. B. Sanderson the road was completed. On January 8, 1871, a large 
delegation of Portage citizens took the first passenger train to Madi- 
son over the new line. It was for a time operated by the St. Paul 
Company under a lease, and in 1878 that company bought the road out- 
right, which now forms the southern division of its system in Columbia 
county. Poynette and Arlington are its principal stations. 

Chicago & North Western 

The Chicago & North Western Railway passes through the south- 
western corner of Columbia County for about seven miles. It was 
originally a section of the Madison Extension, and still earlier the 
Baraboo Air Line. It reached Lodi in 1871. Okee is the only other 
station in the county. 


Wisconsin Central Commenced at Portage 

As early as 1864 Congress granted to the State of Wisconsin vari- 
ous public lands to aid in the construction of a railroad from Southern 
Wisconsin to Lake Superior, Portage City being named as a possible 
terminus. After considerable wrangling over the land grant, Portage 
was actually named, and the Portage & Superior Company came into 
existence. The board was organized at Portage, June 5, 1866, and the first 
stake of the road was set in that city, June 15, 1869, after a consolidation 
of the Winnebago & Superior and the Portage & Superior. In 1871 
the name of the company was changed to the Wisconsin Central. 

Completion of Line (1877) 

In 1870 the Portage, Stevens Point & Superior Railroad Company 
was incorporated, with W. W. Corning, S. A. Pease, A. J. Turner, 
Robert Cochrane, G. L. Park, J. 0. Raymond, Seth Reeves, George A. 
Neeves and Joseph Wood as directors, for the purpose of building a 
road on a direct line from Portage to Stevens Point, to connect with the 
land-grant road. On the 3d of December, of the same year, the com- 
pany was consolidated with the Portage, Winnebago & Superior Com- 
pany, and its route was adopted as the line of the land-grant road. The 
legislature of 1876 gave its consent to the change of route, which was 
ratified by Act of Congress in the same year. In June of the follow- 
ing year the Wisconsin Central Railroad completed its entire line of 
330 miles through the state, much of the way through unbroken forest. 

The M.. St. Palt. & S. Ste. Marie 

The stretch of the road which runs north from Portage through the 
Town of Winnebago is now included in the Minneapolis, St. Paul and 
Sault Ste. ]\Iarie Railroad Company, which absorbed the Wisconsin 
Central System in 1905. 



Old Portage County — First Casting op Ballots — Columbia Set Off 
PROM Portage County — First Annual Election — James T. Lewis 
Insists on Columbia — The County Officers — Sheriffs — Clerks 
op Circuit Court — District Attorneys — County Clerks — County 
Treasurers — Registers of Deeds — Coroners — County Surveyors 
— Boards of County Commissioners — Chairmen of County Board 
OF Supervisors — County Seat Fights — Temporary County Build- 
ings — First Steps Toward Permanent Courthouse — The Court- 
house Completed — County Jail and Sheriff's Residence — Home 
FOR County Insane and Poor — The Circuit Court — Probate and 
County Court. 

It is not necessary to go further back into the political history of 
Columbia County than 1836 ; that is the logical year, in fact. Rowan, 
its first permanent settler, established his homestead in 1836, and on 
the 7th of December of that year the Territorial Legislature set off 
Portage County from Brown and Crawford. A portion of the present 
Town of Caledonia remained in old Crawford County, a small slice of 
Sauk County with "Sauk Prairie" as its nucleus was included in the 
newly created County of Portage, which also included the western tier 
of towns in the present Dodge. Otherwise its territory corresponded 
with the Columbia County of today. 

Old Portage County 

In 1838 Portage County was set off into the Town of Lowe, and the 
election polls were established at the Indian agency house. But the 
polls were never opened, for about a week later the boundaries of 
the county were rearranged and the county seat established at Kentucky 
City. That town had been platted the year before upon the present 
site of De Korra, and thus, for a brief period, snatched the county seat 


from Winnebago City, on the south side of Swan Lake, where it was 
established when Portage County was created in 1836. Both were 
among the paper cities which spring up in everj' new country to com- 
pete for the honor of being the "shire town." Kentucky City has some 
claims for historical recognition, for it was really the predecessor of 
the existent Village of De Korra. 

In 1841 the Ten-itorial Legislature so enlarged the boundaries of 
Portage County as to include in its territory the present counties of 
Columbia, Adams, Juneau, AYood; the eastern portions of Taylor, Price 
and Iron, and the western portions of Marquette, Portage, IMarathon, 
Lincoln and Langlade. The election precincts of the enlarged county 
were established at the Franklin House, Portage; Stephen's Mills, at 
the Big Bull Falls. 

Election precinct.s for the enlarged county were established, but the 
few settlers neglected to vote, and in 1842 the sheriff of Dane County 
(to which Portage had been attached for political and judicial purposes) 
called an election for choosing the officers of Portage County. The time 
set was the fourth Monday in March. 

First C.vsting op Ballots 

In April, 1S42, the voters selected Plover (now a postoffiee a few 
miles from Stevens Point, Portage County) as the county seat, its com- 
petitor being Fort, "Winnebago. At the first meeting of the county com- 
missioners held at Captain Low's "Franklin House," on the 20th of the 
month, three election precincts were established in the territory compris- 
ing Columbia County — Columbus, voting place at Stroud and Dickin- 
son's mills: De Korra, the house of LaFayette Hill, and the Winnebago 
portage, Captain Low's hotel. 

Hon. John Q. Adams made the election returns to the county seat at 
Plover. About fifty votes were polled in this precinct and one hundred 
and twenty-five in the county. The day after the election ilr. Adams 
started with the returns. He went as far as Dickason's (Wyoeena) 
\dth the i\Iajor, the latter on foot and Mr. Adams mounted on a pony. 
This was ]\Ir. Adams's first experience in the "ride and tie" mode of 
traveling. One rode a couple of miles or more, tied his horse to a blazed 
tree and walked along the trail until he was overtaken and passed, and 
afterward came up with the horse tied and waiting for him. This was 
not a sociable way of journeying, and often the party overtaken would 
trot along beside his mounted friend to get a few minutes' chat. One 
day on the trail satisfied Mr. Adams that it was hardly worth while for 
him to take a trip of 100 miles to carry the returns of fifty votes. 


and handed his papers over to Charles Temple, who was going with the 
returns of the Winnebago Precinct — a proceeding which would hardly 
be tolerated in these days, when such strict safeguards are thrown around 
the ballot box to protect it from tamperers. 

Columbia Set Off from Portage County 

On February 3, 1846, the Territorial Legislature set off Columbia 
County from Portage, and provided for its civil and judicial organiza- 
tion on May 1st following. Its bounds were the same as the present, 
except the northwestern portion between the Fox and Wisconsin riv- 
ers, which was still included in the Indian lands of the Menominees. 
At the election in April, Solomon Leach, John Q. Adams and John 
Langdon were elected county commissioners, and on July 16, 1846, 
Messrs. Leach and Adams met at the house of Major Elbert Dickason 
at Wyocena and organized the board. Mr. Leach was elected chairman 
and James C. Carr, clerk. The only business transacted was the forma- 
tion of eight precincts for the fall election, "without any particular 
authority, ' ' as the chairman afterward declared. 

The election precincts are here enumerated, as the "judges of elec- 
tion" include most of the leading citizens of the county in 1846. For 
the LeRoy Precinct the election was to be held at the house of Oliver 
Langdon, with Nathan Griffith, James Buoy and Irwin McCall as judges 
of election ; Columbus Precinct, at the house of A. P. Birdsey, Asa 
Proctor, J. T. Lewis (afterward Wisconsin's War governor), and Jere- 
miah Drake, judges of election; Dyersburgh Precinct, at the house of 
Landy Sowards, who, with Jonathan E. Haight and Henry Pellet, were 
named as judges; Lowville Precinct, at the house of Jacob Low, with 
William Young, Henry Herring and Stephen Brayton, judges of elec- 
tion; De Korra Precinct, at the house of LaFayette Hill — Joshua W. 
Rhodes, John Springer and Thomas Swearingen, judges of election; 
Pleasant Valley Precinct, election at the house of Marston Bartholomew 
— election judges, Mr. Bartholomew, Aaron Chalfant and J. Maynard; 
Winnebago Portage Precinct, at the house of Gideon Low, with Henry 
Merrell, Richard F. Veeder and Daniel D. Robertson as judges ; and the 
Wyocena Precinct, at the house of Elbert Dickason — Charles Spear, 
Darius Bisbee and Harvey Bush, election judges. 

First Annual Election 

On the first ^londay of September (7th), 1846, the first annual elec- 
tion was held for legislative, county and precinct offices. Whig and 


democratic tickets were in the field, and the result of the election was 
"honors even," as witness: Territorial Council, Mason C. Darling 
(democrat) ; House of Representatives, Hugh McFarlane (democrat) 
and Elisha Morrow (democrat) ; members of the Constitutional Conven- 
tion, Jeremiah Drake (whig) and LaFayette Hill (whig) ; probate judge, 
Silas Walsworth (whig), who refused to qualify, and James T. Le\vis 
(whig) was appointed in his place; sheriff, Thomas C. Smith (demo- 
crat) ; clerk of board of county commissioners. Nelson Swartout (whig), 
who resigned in favor of Wayne B. Dyer (whig) ; treasurer, James C. 
Carr (whig) ; collector, John Swarthout (democrat) ; register of deeds, 
Elbert Dickason (democrat) ; surveyor, Albert Toplifif (whig) ; coroner, 
Daniel E. Bassett (whig) ; county commissioners, R. F. Yeeder (whig), 
Nathan Griffin (whig) and John D. JlcCall (whig). 

This election was believed to be void, as it was held under the action 
of the board of commissioners chosen in April. There was some doubt 
about the legality of their election, but everybody, including the mem- 
bers themselves, were quite positive that they had no authority to divide 
the county into election precincts. So in February, 1847, the Legisla- 
ture legalized the election of the previous September. Consequently 
Columbia County was fully and firmly organized. 

The title of the Menoroinee Indians having been extinguished, a legis- 
lative act was passed in 1849 taking in their former territory between 
the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers, thus giving the county its present form 
and area. 

James T. Lewis Insists on "Columbia" 

To James T. Lewis is generally accorded the credit of fixing the 
name of Columbia on the county. But it had a narrow escape from 
"York." ^Ir. Lewis, of Columbus, presented a strong petition for 
"Columbia;" but Wayne B. Dyer, at Otsego, and some of the settlers 
at Portage, forwarded a somewhat larger petition for ' ' York. ' ' The bill, 
thus christening the county, was about to pass, when Mr. Lewis, with 
characteristic pertinacity, induced the members to vote for an amend- 
ment striking out "York" in favor of "Columbia." 

The County Officers 

The territory thus named and legally organized has been well gov- 
erned, judicially and civilly, with the following as its principal officials : 




1847-48— T. Clark Smith 
1849-50— Jacob Low 
1851-52— Alexander McDonald 
1853-54— Perry Lee 
1855-56— S. C. Higbie* 
1857-58— Edward F. Lewis 
1859-60— Benjamin Williams 
1861-62— William W. Drake 
1863-64— Nathan Hazen 
1865-66— P. Pool 
1867-68— S. K. Vaughan 
1869-70— 0. H. Sorrenson 
1871-72— P. Pool 
1873-74— William W. Drake 
1875-76— J. 0. Prescott 
1877-78— A. H. Russell 
1879-80— Jonas Conklin 

1881-82— J. H. Jurgerson 
1883-84— D. G. Williams 
1885-86— J. W. Leffingwell 
1887-88— R. C. Falconer 
1889-90— J. R. Nashold 
1891-92— P. C. Irvine 
1893-94— William H. Parry 
1895-96— Hugh Hall 
1897-98— Ole M. Bendixen 
1899-00— Lewis Leith 
1901-02— J. C. MacKenzie 
1903-04— E. P. Ashley 
1905-07— Don C. French 
1908-09— H. H. Hawkos 
1910-1 1_J. W. Dalton 
1911-12— Ferdinand Voth 
1913 — Wm. K. McKenzie 

Clerks of Circuit Court 

1847-48— Henry Merrell (clerk of 
District Court) 

1848-50— Josiah Arnold 

1851-53 — James Delaney, Jr. |[ 

1854 —A. W. Delaney 

1855-56— S. K. Vaughan t 

1857-58— S. K. Vaughan 

1859-60— A. Morehouse 

1861-62— A. J. Turner 

1863-65— H. M. Haskell t 

1866 —J. Chancellor (to fill va- 

1867-71— C. A. Dibble 1 1 

1872-78— S. M. Smith 
1879-82— S. S. Lockhart 
1882-86— J. H. Wells 
1887-88— L. E. Greenleaf 
1889-90— Peter Williams 
1891-92— Frank il. Shaughiiessy 
1893-96— A. S. Crouch 
1897-00— Evan 0. Jones 
1901-06— Clifford H. Crothers 
1907-08— Louis B. Morse 
1909-10— A. H. Proctor 
1911 —David D. Owen 

* Election contested and office awarded to George Robinson. 
11 Drowned May 31, 1853, and A. W. Delaney appointed to fill vacancy. 
t Certificate given to A. W. Delaney, but office given to S. K. Vaughan on a 

t Resigned and James Chancellor appointed to fill vacancy 

II Resigned and S. JI. Smith appointed to fill vacancy December 6, 1871. 



District Attorneys 

18-47-i8— James T. Lewis 
1849-50— D. J. :\I. Loop 
1851-52 — Amasa 6. Cook 
1853-56— Luther S. Dixon 
1857-60— Levi AY. Barden 
lS61-64^Israel Holmes 
1865-66— Gerry W. Hazelton 
1867-68- John T. Clark 
1869-74— Emmons Taylor 
1875-80— J. H. Rogers 

1881-84— H. H. Curtis 
1885-86— Thomas Armstrong, Jr. 
1887-88— J. S. Maxwell 
1889-94— W. S. Stroud 
1895-98— W. G. Coles* 
1899-06— H. E. Andrews 
1907-08 — Heni-j' A. Gunderson 
1909-10— Royal F. Clark 
1911 —David Bogue 

County Clerks f 

— James C. Carr 

— Wayne B. Dyer (ap- 
pointed in place of 
Nelson Swarthout) 

— James C. Carr 

— James B. Eaton 
1851-54— Alvin B. Alden 
1855-58- Thomas B. Haslam 
1859-62— Julius Austin 
1863-68— Harvev H. Rust 



1869-74— Ogden A. Southmayd 
1875-80— L. S. Rolleston 
1881-86— Wm. B. Smith 
1887-90— Chas. C. Dow 
1891-92— Frank B. Ernsperger 
1893-96— Richard Pritchard 
1897-00— D. R. Marshall 
1901-06— Rohert J. Hughes 
1907-08— Wm. 0. Cordy 
1909 — E. E. Price 

County Treasurers 

1847 —James C. Carr 
1848-49— AA^ilHam J. Ensign* 
1850-51— Stephen Brayton 
1852-54— Harrison S. Haskell 
1855 —Horace Rust t 
1857-60— George Ege 
1861-66— LI. Breese 

1867-68— Lewis Low 
1869-72— ililes T. Alverson 
1873-76— Oliver H. Sorrenson 
1877-80— Henry Neef 
1881-88— C. A. Colonius 
1889-92— J. A. Johnson 
1893-96— James R. Hastie 

* Died and W. S. Stroud appointed to fill 
t Title of this office was first "Clerk of the Board of Count}- Commissioners;" 
to "Clerk of the Board of Supervisors" in 1848 and to "County Clerk" 

* Stephen Brayton was elected in 1849, but Mr. Ensign claimed to hold over. 
He filed his resignation December 10, 1850, and the board appointed Isaiah Robinson 
to fill the vacancy. The contest was decided in favor of Mr. Brayton. 

t Office contested and awarded to M. M. Ege. 


County Treasurers 
1897-00— Byron Kinnear 
1901-06— Thomas V. Dunn 
1907-08— Julius F. Kluender 

1909-12— John Luck 
1913 —William J. Dunn 

Registers of Deeds 

1847 —Elbert Dickason 
1849 —A. A. Brayton 
1849-50— F. F. Farnham 
1851-52— Josiah Arnold 
1853-56— William Owen 
1857-58— D. F. Newcomb 
1859-62— James Chancellor ' 
1863-66— Abner H. Smead 
1867-74— Thomas Yule 
1875-76— Joseph Scha-ifer 

1877-80— George Yule 
1881-84— Z. J. D. Swift 
1885-86- H. H. Tongen, Jr. f 
1887-90— John W. Brown 
1890-94— John H. Dooley 
1895-98— Arthur A. Porter 
1899-02— Ole Johnson 
1902-0S~C. H. Smith 
1909-10— L. E. Nashold 
1911 — G. W. Morrison 


1847-50— Daniel E. Bassett 
1851-54 — Isaac Smith 
1855-56— Erastus Cook 
1857-58— H. S. Haskell 
1859-62— Geo. W. Marsh 
1863-64— Marcus Barden 
1865-66— Carl Schneider 
1867-68—0. H. Sorrenson 
1869-70— Charles Earley 
1871-76— Z. J. D. Swift 

1877-78— William Suoad 
1879-80- Z. J. D. Swift 
1881-84— Geo. W. Marsh 
1885-88— B. M. Allen 
1889-90— N. J. Currier 
1891-92— John Collins, Jr. 
1893-01— B. M. Allen 
1901-09— Wm. G. Bunker 
1910-12— Frank Heidt 
1913 —Charles E. McSorley 

County Surveyors 

1847-48— A. Topliff 
1849-50— N. P. Foster 
1851-52— A. Topliff 
1853-54 — John Thomas 

1855-56 — George M. Bartholomew 
1857-60— A. Topliff 
1861-62 — Rensler Cronk t 
1863-66— A. Topliff 

* Office declared vacant in November, 1862, by reason of ilr. Chancellor's 
absence from state and A. H. Smead appointed to fill vacancy. 

t Mr. Tongen died in February, 1886, and Z. J. D. Swift appointed to fill 

t Killed in battle and Alfred Topliff appointed July 26, 1862, to fill vacancy. 



County Surveyors — continued 

1867-68— Jonathan Whitney 
1869-70— E. Corning 
1870 — H. Meritou t 
1871-72— F. A. Bvowa 
1873-74— G. ]M. Bartholomew 
1875-76— Henry Meriton 
1877-78— G. M. Bartholomew 

1879-80— Henry Meriton 
1881-82— E. Corning 
1883-90— C. E. Corning 
1891-92— E. Corning 
1893-08— Charles E. Coming 
1909-10— Frank S. Clai-k 
1911 —Charles E. Corning 

Board op County Commissioners 

While the county was under the territorial form of government its 
affairs were administered by a board of county commissioners. The 
boards were constituted as follows : 
1846 — Solomon Leach, John Q. Adams, John Langdon * 
1847— R. F. Veeder, Nathan Griffin, J. D. McCall 
1848 — John Q. Adams, J. J. Guppey, G. M. Bartholomew 
1849 — James C. Carr, LaFayette Hill, John 0. Jones 

Chairmen op County Board of Supervisors 

-W. W. Drake, JIarcus Bar- 
den, Geo. M. Bartholomew 

-AV. W. Drake, Marcus Bar- 
den, Edward F. Lewis 

-Marcus Barden, W. W. 
Drake, Edward F. Lewis 

-Edward F. Lewis, Marcus 
Barden, W. W. Drake 

-W. W. Drake, G. M. Barth- 
olomew, John Meredith 

-Geo. M. Bartholomew, John 
Jleredith, Ira H. Ford 

-A. J. Turner ^j 

-W. :\I. Griswold 

76— A. J. Turner 

79— J. R. Decker 

t In place of E. Corning resigned. 
* Mr. Langdon failed to qualify. 
J The board of supervisors was constituted from 1862 to 1870 of three members 

1849— Alfred A. Brayton 


1850 — Jeremiah Drake 

1851-52— Joseph Kerr 


1853 — Jesse Van Ness 

1854— F. C. Curtis 


1855— M. W. Patton 

1856— F. C. Curtis 


1857— Peter Van Ness 

1858-59— J. C. Carr 


1860-61— W. N. Baker 

$1862— Levi W. Barden, 



L. Brown, Marcus Barden 

1863— Levi W. Barden, 



Barden, Charles L. 



1864— W. W. Drake, Marcus Bar- 


den, Geo. M. Bartholomew 


U From June of that year. 


Chairmen op County Board of Supervisors — continued 

1880-81— M. T. Alverson 1898-99— II. J. Fisk 

1882-83— Addison Eaton 1900-02— John Scott 

1884-85— J. R. Decker 1903-01— W. C. Leitsch 

1886 — Le«ter Woodard 1905-06— B. L. Tifft 

1887-89— J. H. Rogers 1907-08— W. R. Chipman 

1890 —James B. Taylor 1909-10— J. T. Henton 

1891-92— R. N. McCouochie 1911-12— R. E. York 

1893-95— Mic Adams 1913 — G. S. Lashier 
1896-97— Salmon Brown 

County Seat Fights 

Like every county recorded in history, Columbia had its exciting and 
indecisive county seat fights. At the April election of 1846, following 
its birth in February, the voters endeavored to select a county seat, but 
as six rivals were in the field none had a ma.jority. Columbus received 
97 votes, Wiimebago Portage 49, and Duck Creek (Wyocena) 47, vidth 
the others trailing in this way: De Korra, 33; Dyer's (Otsego) 10, and 
Van Duer (Bendure's) 3. As there was no choice and Wyocena was 
the most convenient point of assemblage for the majority of the voters 
in the county, an act was passed at the 1847 session of the Legislature 
declaring the county seat temporarily located there, and providing for 
a vote on the question at each annual election until some place should 
receive a majority. 

The Decisive Vote (1851) 

Then, in 1848, an act was passed providing that the county seat of 
justice should be at Columbus for a term of five years. So that Wyocena 
and Columbus were temporary county seats until April, 1851, when the 
permanent location was decided by popular vote in favor of Port M'^inne- 
bago. The legislative act under which the election was held provided 
that if the latter should not receive a majority of the votes east the 
county seat should be permanently established at Wyocena. This move 
was therefore considered as settling the fight between the chief rivals 
forever; and from present appearances it is 'not likely that the popular 
decision then made will be reversed. 

The vote "for" or "against" Port Winnebago was as follows: 


Yes. No. 

Portage Prairie 20 43 

Springvale 1 82 

Wyocena 1 182 

De Korra 90 22 

Otsego 2 79 

Fountain Prairie 95 

Columbus 119 50 

Hampden 36 35 

Kossuth 47 37 

West Point 32 7 

Lodi 41 6 

Fort Winnebago 441 9 

Port Hope 32 7 

aiareellon 92 3 

Scott 17 57 

Randolph 69 32 

Lo^wille 11 57 

1,096 796 

Temporary County Buildings 

After it had been definitely decided that Portage was to be the per- 
manent seat of justice, a deed was made to the county by Webb & 
Bronson, owners of the village site, conveying Block 180 (now occupied 
by the county jail and sheriff's residence) for a courthouse and any 
other buildings which might be necessary in the transaction of ofScial 
business and judicial procedures. But some years were to elapse before 
the county was to have its own official home. 

The county records were moved from Columbus to Portiige in 1851, 
and until 1856 the officials occupied the upper part of Lemuel Berry's 
store on the east side of the canal. It stood on the northeast corner of 
Cook and Pleasant streets and was afterward bought by the city to house 
its fire apparatus. From the Berry store the county officers moved 
their records to Vandercook's building, where all remained until the 
completion of the present courthouse in the fall of 1865. 

First Steps Toward Permanent Courthouse 

In 1861 the Board of Super\'isors officially brought up the court- 
house matter b.y appointing a committee to report upon the general 


subject of county buildings. The members consisted of Hugh Jamieson, 
G. H. Osborn and E. H. Wood, who made their report in November, 
showing that the county was paying a rental of $1,400 per annum for 
its official accommodations and recommending that a sum not to exceed 
$12,000 be expended in permanent buildings. The report was laid on 
the table, and the subject rested for two years. 

In 1863, after the county board had been reduced to three members, 
the subject was resuscitated. At the historic meeting in which it came 
up, never to be again buried, two supervisors were present — L. W. Bar- 
den and Charles L. Brown — and the deputy clerk of the board, A. J. 
Turner, who tells the story of the birth of the present courthouse : ' ' The 
business of the board having been about completed, the writer of this, 
who was acting as deputy clerk of the board, motioned Judge Barden 
aside and suggested to him that the question of county buildings ought 
to be presented to the board. He laughingly replied that he didn't think 
it would be of any use to do so, but it might be well enough to agitate it. 
Returning to the board, I drew the following resolution, which Mr. Bar- 
den submitted: 

" 'Resolved, That the sum of eight thousand dollars be levied and 
raised in the same manner that other county taxes are raised, for the 
purpose of building a courthouse, and that the same be paid over to the 
county treasurer, and held by him, subject to the order of the Board of 
Supervisors, for the purpose aforesaid.' 

"The question was put on its adoption and Supervisor Brown voted 
aye: Supervisor Barden remained silent and the chairman declared the 
resolution adopted, and it was so minuted in the journal. 

' ' The next day, December 9th, the last act of the board before adjourn- 
ing, was the adoption of the following resolution, which was presented 
by Supervisor Brown : 

" 'Resolved, That L. AV. Barden, chairman of the Board of Super- 
visors, be and is hereby instructed to procure plans and specifications 
for a courthouse, and receive proposals for a site for the same, which 
shall be submitted to the board at its next meeting.' 

"Such were the initial steps taken for the erection of the courthouse 
which Columbia County possesses, accomplished by a single vote." 

The Courthouse Completed 

The initiatory steps toward building were taken soon afterward, and 
in February, 1864, a contract was let to Carnagie & Prescott for building 
a courthouse to cost $17,830. The site was presented by the citizens 
of Portage. Work was commenced in the spring of that year and the 



building was completed in the fall of 1865, at the contract price. With 
the sidewalks, iron fence (since removed), grading, trees and other 
improvements, the county expended about $26,000 on the courthouse 
property: At the time of its erection the Columbia County Courthouse 
was considered a fine building for the purpose and, with steam heating, 
modern lighting and sanitary arrangements, as well as thorough interior 
reconstruction, it is still convenient but not fully adequate to the require- 
ments of the county. After Bro\vB County, to which Columbia was 
attached so long, it was, in 1865, the only courthouse of any pretensions 
in the state. Surmounted by a well-proportioned dome and a large 
(colossal, it was then called) statue of Justice, this two-story building 
of cream colored brick was a commendable pride to the county seat. 

Courthouse. Shortly After Its Erection 

In 1895 a small fireproof building was erected on the courthouse 
square for the protection of the invaluable papers and records in care 
of the register of deeds. 

County Jail and Sheriff's Residence 

The county jail and sheriff's residence are about- half a mile from the 
courthouse, standing on the block donated by Webb & Bronson for 
county purposes. A jail was first erected in 1851 by H. McNeil. It 
was a two-stor>' stone building with cells in the upper part and the 
sheriff's dwelling in the lower. The building was destroyed by fire in 


1864, and in the following year Camagie & Prescott, the courthouse con- 
tractors, completed a substantial stone jail, its "parade grounds" sur- 
rounded by a high brick wall, and a sheriff's residence fronting it, 
consisting of a well-arranged two-story brick structure. But even these 
quarters were outgrown, and in 1887 a new jail and sheriff's residence 
were erected at a cost of over seventeen thousand dollars. Both the 
buildings and surrounding grounds have been well maintained. 

Home for County Insane and Poor 

The County Insane Asylum and Poor Home at Wyocena are housed 
in a substantial two-story brick structure, with wings, and a large sepa- 
rate wooden building. The buildings set well back from the street in the 
center of an 8-acre tract. A short distance north of the village is a 
40-acre farm, so that the able-bodied inmates of the home are furnished 
healthful employment as well as contribute to the maintenance of the 

Prior to 1858 the care of the poor of Columbia Coiiuty was vested 
in the to\ras, whose officers provided homes for all the unfortunates 
within their jurisdiction, the maintenance of the poverty-stricken being 
paid out of a town fund set aside for that purpose. 

On November 3d of the year mentioned the County Board of Super- 
visors voted to abolish the town system, and measures were taken to 
establish a county institiition. Daniel White. John Q. Adams and 
H. W. Roblier were appointed superintendents of the poor, and $1,500 
was appropriated to aid them in their duties. The old Exchange Hotel, 
with one acre of land, was purchased, and on December 30, 1858, it was 
opened for the care of the county poor and insane. Brick additions 
were made in 1867 and 1878. In 1872 there were twenty-six inmates 
of the home, of whom eleven were insane, and the cost of caring for 
them was over four thousand dollars, including the $400 salary of Hugh 
Hill, the overseer, and $200 paid other help. The number of inmates 
in 1879 was ninety-eight, of whom sixteen were insane. 

Insane Asylum Erected 

The proportion of insane patients had gradually increased so that 
by the early '80s it was evident that some special provision must be 
made for them. In 1882, therefore, the east wing of the present insane 
asylum was completed. This i? now the male ward, but for ten years 
served as sleeping apartments for both men and women. In 1892 the 


administration building and the west «-ing were completed, and the 
entire structure is solid and attractive. 

On the 3rd of November, 1858, the County Board of Supervisors 
voted to abolish the town system of caring for its poor. At the same 
session Daniel White, John Quincy Adams and H. "W. Roblier were ap- 
pointed superintendents. The Old Exchange Hotel, together with one 
acre of land in the village of Wyocena, was pm-chased and the home for 
Columbia county's poor was established. In 1878 a two-story brick 
structure was erected and used for quarters for the insane. In 1885 the 
present fine County Insane Asylum was erected and additional buildings 
have been erected and many valuable improvements made. The first 


superintendents were Daniel AVhite. H. W. Roblier, John Quincy Adams. 
Mr. White was succeeded by Geo. Wall of Portage, he by W. W. Corn- 
ing and he by John Graham, he by H. L. Bellinghansen. Mr. Roblier 
was succeeded by Alan Bogue of Arlington, Mr. Adams was succeeded 
by E. E. Jones, he by J. A. Ehrhart and he by E. W. Richards. So that 
the present board is Alan Bogue, E. W. Richards and H. L. Belling- 

The Board which was long in existence and to whom the county is 
greatly indebted in the care and management of its poor and insane 
was John Quincy Adams of Columbus, who served forty-five years; 
John Graham of Portage, who served thirty-one years, and Alan Bogue of 
Poynette, who is serving his 30th year. Under their management the 


institution became one of the first in the state, and upon their recom- 
mendation many broad acres were added to the original one acre farm. 
The overseers and matrons who have been in charge of the institution 
are Mr. and Mrs. S. M. Muggleton, Mr. and Mrs. B. Miller, Mr. and 
Mrs. S. C. Cushman. 

The 124 inmates of the asylum and the 86 who are in the home 
are faithfully cared for by the superintendent, S. C. Cushman and his 
wife, the matron, with efficient and adequate help. The trustees are 
Alan Bogue, president of the board; E. W. Richards, vice president, 
and H. L. Bellinghausen, secretary. The attending physician is 
Dr. A. V. de Neveu. There is about three thousand dollars in the treas- 
ury, the farm having largely contributed to the good financial condition 
of the institution. The live stock includes fifty Holsteins and over 
ninety swine, wdth a fair assortment of chickens. Good crops of corn,^ 
oats, hay and cloverseed are raised, as well as all kinds of vegetables, and 
quite a neat sum is realized by the sale of eggs and dressed beef, pork,, 
chickens and ducks, although the local consumption is considerable. 

The state is generous in contributing to the maintenance of the asy- 
lum. The Legislature has lately increased its weekly allowance per 
inmate from $1.50 to .$1.75 for those resident in the county, and from 
$3.00 to $3.50 for foreign patients. The increase of late years in the 
weekly cost per capita is more attributable to the better treatment of 
the insane than to the rise in the cost of living; in 1903 this weekly cost 
for the Columbia County asylum was $1.35, and in 1912, $2.46. 

The Circuit Court 

Under the territorial form of government, from 1836 to 1848, Colum- 
bia County was at various periods in the First, Second and Third Judicial 
districts. But it made little difference, practically, whether it fell in 
one judicial jurisdiction or another until well along in the '40s, when 
the population of the county was about 2,000 and the three hujidred or 
more mature males felt that they were entitled to a local "sitting." 

It was after the organization of Columbia County that the first ses- 
sion of court was held within its limits. It was then in the Second 
Judicial District and sittings began August 30, 1847, with David Irvin 
on the bench. The court was held at Fort Winnebago, in a store attached 
to the Franklin House kept by Captain Low. The names of the first 
grand jury empaneled were Morell Stroud, Jerome B. Fargo, LaFayette 
Hill, Edward J. Smith, John Converse, Benjamin F. Stanton, Isaac B. 
Hancock, Jonathan E. Haight, Perry Griffith, Chauncey Spear, Samuel 


Gibson, Joseph Edwards, Albert Pease, Horace Dodge, Enos Grant, 
F. K. Haskins, Job W. Perry, W. B. Dyer and William W. Drake. 

On the first day of the session Owen Powderly was naturalized. The 
first case on the docket was Lorenzo Bevans vs. Andrew Dunn, in 
assumpsit, which was continued, and the next was of a similar nature 
(Youngs Allen vs. Miami York), in which the plaintiff recovered, by 
default of the defendant, $64.73. 

When Wisconsin became a state in 1848 it was divided into five judi- 
cial circuits, Columbia County being included in the Third. In 1855 it 
was attached to the Ninth, where it remained until 1906, since which it 
has been in the Eighteenth. The first terra of the Circuit Court for 
Columbia County commenced May 21, 1849, Chief Justice Stow presid- 
ing. The first case tried was John Converse vs. Martin Hoffman, in 
error from a justice's court; judgment afiirmed. The grand jury was 
as follows: John Hasey, Thomas D. Wallace, Cornwall Esmond, Isaac 
Requa, William G. Simons, Benjamin A. Hagamen, Sylvanus Langdon, 
Dearborn Taylor, Linus Blair, ilartin Porter. Hugh ilcFarlane, John 
Q. Adams, Lucius Warner, Thomas Swarthout, Asear F. Hamilton, 
Benjamin Sage, Cyrus Smith, Joseph Farrington, Edward J. Smith and 
Israel Sales. 

Among the best known judges who presided over the old Ninth Cir- 
cuit were Alexander L. Collins, Luther S. Dixon, Harlow S. Orton, Alva 
Stewart, Robert G. Seibecker and E. Ray Stevens. Chester A. Fowler 
was elected the first judge of the Eighteenth Circuit and still occupies 
the bench. 

Probate and County Court 

Until January 1, 1850, the court having jurisdiction over the settle- 
ment of estates of deceased persons and of the appointment of guardians 
to minors, spendthrifts, idiots and insane persons, was called the Pro- 
bate Court. After that date it was called the County Court. 

The probate and county judges who have served Columbia are as 
foUows : 

1847 —Silas Walsworth * 1865-80— Joshua J. Guppey 

1847-48— James T. Lewis 1881-92— Levi W. Barden 

1849 —Moses R. Cobbt 1893-98— J. B. Taylor t 

1850-56— Joshua J. Guppey 1898-1910— W. S. Stroud 

1857-60— Guy C. Prentiss 1910 — Alonzo F. Kellogg 

1861-64— John T. Clark (Now six-year term) 

* Refused to qualify and James T. Lewis appointed. 

t Resigned and Joshua J. Guppey appointed September 29, 1849, to fill vacancy. 

} Died September 2.5, 1898, and W. S. Stroud appointed to fill vacancy. 



Household Population (1846) — Population in 1847 — Figures by 
Decades (1850-1910) — Real Estate and Personal Property (1875) 
— Agricultural Interests — Conditions Thirty Years Ago — Con- 
ditions OF THE Present — A Splendid Dairy County — Creameries 
IN Columbia County — Cheese Factories — Live Stock — County 
Agricultural Society — Fish Fair and Secretary's Report — Co- 
lumbia County Fair Association — Curling in Columbia County 

There are some miseellaueous matters, chiefly statistical, which can- 
not be well grouped, but which are necessary to be presented in order 
to get a general view of the county before proceeding to develop classi- 
fied topics and the histories of the to\\ais, cities and villages. 

Household Population (1846) 

The first census in the county was taken in June, 1846, by Hugh Mc- 
Farlane, assisted by William Donaghue. The names of the householders 
only were taken, with the number of inmates of each household. The 
county was diveded between the two so that McFarlane took as his terri- 
tory what are now the towns of Fountain Prairie, Otsego, Lowville, 
De Korra, Lodi, Arlington, Leeds, Hampden and Columbus, with the 
city of Columbus ; also the south half of Caledonia and one tier of sections 
off the east side of West Point. In this area he found 1,269 persons — 
705 white males and 564 white females, the largest households being 
those headed by S. Brayton (12), Henry Botnian (12), Nels Olson (12), 
Christopher Hughes (12), James Wilson (11), Nehemiah Alten (10), 
James MeCloud (10), Benjamin Sage (9), S. W. Herring (9), WiUiam 
Randall (9), Thomas Robertson (9), Jacob Dickenson (9), and W. B. 
Dyer, Calvin Martin, Jacob Low, Tossen Parr, Tess Pearson, Sjur 


Sturken, George Bradley, Elisha Town and Asa Proctor, each with a 
family circle of (8). 

Donaghue's territory included what are now the towns of Courtland, 
Springvale, Wyocena, Pacific, the north half of Caledonia and all of 
Lewistou except three tiers of sections off its west side, Fort Winuehago 
and the City of Portage, and Marcellon, Scott and Randolph. In this 
division were 700 persons — 438 white males, 261 white females and 1 
male negro. The largest households were those of Hugh ^IcParlane (30) , 
H. Carpenter (24), William Jones (13), Job W. Perry (13), Benjamin 
Dodge (11), Ephraim Blood (11), Nathan Griffin (9), John Hagadore 
(8). Elbert Diekason (9j, Samuel MeConochie (10), Aaron Powell (10), 
Gideon Low (9), M. W. Patton (8), Powell Stein (8), John Converse 
(8), and Richard F. Veeder (8). 

The total population of the county in June, 1846, was therefore 1,969 
— 1,143 white males and 825 white females, one gentleman of black color, 
and several hundred Winnebagoes. 

Population in 1847 

The census of the county was taken the second time in June, 1847. 
James T. Lewis was the chief enumerator and had five assistants. The 
increase in population was quite surprising. a.ssuming that the enumera- 
tions of both years were substantially correct. The count was taken by 
precincts and resulted as follows: 

White Wliite Colored 

Precinct — Males. Females. Males. Total. 

Columbus 514 435 949 

De Korra 104 97 201 

Wyocena 253 222 475 

LeRoy 515 464 1 980 

Dyersburg 238 228 466 

Winnebago Portage 102 61 1 164 

Pleasant Valley 110 93 203 

Lowville 190 163 353 

Total 2,026 1.763 2 3,791 

Figures by Decades (1850-1910) 

There was a gradual increase of population aip to the period of the 
Civil war, and for more than thirty years thereafter it remained almost 


stationary. It was 9,565 in 1850; 24,441 in 1860; 28,802 in 1870; 28,065 
in 1880, and 28,810 in 1890. 

The numerations made by the United States census takers for the 
years ending the last three decades indicate the following: 

Divisions — 1910 

Arlington, town 816 

Caledonia, town 1,087 

Cambria, village '. 657 

Columbus, city 2,523 

Ward 1 1,020 

Ward 2 712 

Ward 3 791 

Columbus, town 760 

Courtland, town 886 

De Korra, town 842 

Doylestown, village 259 

Fall River, village 360 

Fort Winnebago, town 626 

Fountain Prairie, town 990 

Hampden, to^\ai 800 

Kilbourn City, village 1,170 

Leeds, to\vn 1.055 

Lewiston, town 799 

Lodi, town 716 

Lodi, village 1,044 

Lowville, town 758 

Marcellon, town 853 

Newport, town 534 

Otsego, town 866 

Pacific, town 281 

Pardeeville, village 987 

Portage, city 5,440 

Ward 1 " 580 

Ward 2 1,068 

Ward 3 848 

Ward 4 1,357 

Ward 5 1,587 

Poynette, village 656 

Randolph, town 1,087 

Randolph, village (west ward) 248 





















































Total for Randolph, village, iu Co- 
lumbia and Dodge Counties 937 738 405 

Rio, village 704 479 339 

Scott, town 796 811 824 

Springvale, tovra 735 751 703 

West Point, town 663 743 701 

Wyocena, to^ra 706 1,158 1,303 

"Wyoeena, village 425 

Totals 31,129 31,121 28,350 

Real Estate and Personal Property (1875) 

There has been a steady increase in the value of real estate and per- 
sonal property held by the citizens of Columbia County. In 1875, after 
they had had a decade to recover from the demoralizing effects of the 
Ci\'il war the county board assessed both classes of property as follows: 

Arlington $ 527,607 Mareellon $208,376 

Caledonia 314,989 Newport 239,687 

Columbus (tofl-n) 508,640 Otsego 396,696 

Columbus (city) 758,974 Pacific 54,872 

Courtland 499,226 Portage 886,555 

De Korra 264,695 Randolph 472,565 

Fort Winnebago 169,300 Scott 289,457 

Fountain Prairie 414,934 Springvale 323,072 

Hampden 508,699 West Point 332,247 

Leeds 495,774 Wyocena 250,434 

Lewiston 139,039 W. W. Vil. Randolph . . . 24,380 

Lodi 435.641 

Lowville 350,325 Total $8,866,184 

The Figures for 1913 

In 1913, when the figures were compiled by the as.sessor of incomes 
of Columbia County, this total had increased to nearly $14,000,000. To 
understand the table, arranged alphabetically, first according to towns, 
and secondly according to cities and villages, it is necessary to quote the 
following explanatory words from the assessor's report: 

"The figures on both real and personal property are based upon sale 
value ; meaning not a forced sale, but rather such sales as are made in the 
ordinary course of business transactions. The real estate valuations are 


based entirely upon figures made by the Wisconsin Tax Commission from 
sales of real estate in this county. 

"The valuation in each town is computed each year by comparing the 
assessed value of lands sold during that year with its sale value. Only 
such sales are used as represent the true value of the real estate, all sales 
in which a trade is involved, in which personal property is included, 
forced sales, and sales between relatives, are eliminated. 

' ' The ratio between the assessed value and sales value is then applied 
to the 'total real estate assessment for that year and the result is the 
'annual true value.' 

"The average of the last five 'annual true values' is the figures here 
used. It is believed that this method is nearer correct and nearer fair 
as between districts than any other method. 

"Any variations which may arise from abnormally high or low sales 
in any year are largely eradicated by the five year average and I have not 
felt that I could vary or change these figures in any way without substi- 
tuting my own ideas for the facts. The personal property valuations 
were made by actual inspection of the personal property of a number of 
taxpayers in each assessment district; by then comparing what I con- 
sidered to be the true value of this personal property with its assessed 
value and then raising or lowering the assessed value of all propert}^ of 
the district by the same ratio as the true value of the inspected property 
bore to its assessed value." 

Total Real Total Real and 

Estate Personal Property 

Districts. Assessment. True Value. Assessment. True Value. 

Arlington $ 2,035,135 $ 2,021,420 $ 2,296,065 .$ 2,300,675 

Caledonia l,-408,360 1,875,320 1,602,021 2,126,416 

Columbus 1,773,400 2,094,200 1,973,616 2,301,215 

Courtland 1,224,775 1,703,260 1,395,852 1,909,860 

De Korra 1,115,191 1,251,220 1,236,898 1,398,823 

Fort Winnebago 483,375 771,322 549,547 866,823 

Fountain Prairie 1,288,520 1,774,900 1,468,173 1,979,178 

Hampden 1,659,480 2,026,680 1,889,624 2,259,984 

Leeds 2,071,401 2,191,760 2,281,358 ,2,423,651 

Lewiston 496,030 886,188 608,600 1,029,878 

Lodi, town 915,311 1,173,080 1,025,388 1,300,995 

LowviUe 1,396,665 1,544,340 1,541,673 1,703,200 

Marcellon 809,090 977,398 927,481 1,105,653 

Newport 495,025 587,078 592,115 689,664 


Total Keal Total Real and 

Assessment Estate Personal Property 

Districts. Assessment. True Value. Assessment. True Value. 

Otsego $1,326,412 $1,357,600 $1,469,007 $1,511,373 

Pacific 282,300 350,956 324,294 401,810 

Randolph, town 1,413,698 1,996,560 1,660,268 2,250,976 

Scott 943.615 1,102,740 1,084,974 1,259,708 

Springvale 1,055,640 1,331,020 1,211,780 1,489,978 

West Point 874,900 1,269,840 1,047,381 1,469,514 

Wyoeena 720,960 932,683 829,437 1,055,612 

Cambria, village 331,460 405,188 418,030 509,097 

Columbus, city 2,040,685 2,342,480 2,649,405 3,011,820 

Doylestown 214,010 218,850 264,658 268,621 

Fall River 198,420 244,558 271,776 327,351 

Kilbourn 728,000 959,500 1,516,420 1,937,926 

Lodi 736,925 861,592 918,219 1,074,879 

Pardeeville 440.823 589,004 540,087 716,763 

Portage, city 3,140,674 3,166,540 4,169,149 4,387,431 

Poynette, village 391,100 445,852 478,065 532,244 

Randolph, westward. .. 192,150 227,472 241,820 281,553 

Rio, village 470,735 547,220 630,550 706,110 

Wyoeena, village ..... 98,392 124,559 142,453 170,493 

Total for cities and 

and villages $ 8,983,374 $10,132,815 $12,240,632 $13,924,288 

Total for towns.... 23,789,283 29,219,565 27,015,552 32.834,986 

Total of county. ... 32.772,657 39,352,380 39,256,184 46,759,274 
Agricultural Interests 

The settlers of Columbia County have alwaj^s been largely engaged 
in agricultural and pastoral pursuits, and of late j-ears their dairy in- 
dustries have assumed the greater importance. This fact is fully realized 
when figures of more than thirty years ago are compared with those of 
1914, which have just (April) become accessible. In 1879, for instance, 
there were over sixty-nine thousand acres of wheat grown in the county, 
fairly well distributed between the towns, and in 1914 less than two thou- 
sand. Even in the former year the yield of wheat was deteriorating, the 
new Northwest beyond the Mississippi rising rapidly into prominence as 
the coming granary. 

Conditions Thirty Years Ago 
As stated by an observer of thirty years ago: "The early settlement 
of Columbia County was made by a robust, thrifty, industrious and 
frugal class of men and women, in tlieir youth and physical prime of 


life, full of energy and days' work. They found a rich soil, like them- 
selves, new and young and full of fertility, yielding readily to the wiU 
and wishes of the earnest and ambitious toiler who owned and cultivated 
it, and rewarding his efforts with abundant harvests. The land yielded 
so abundantly and persistently that the opinion prevailed for many years 
that the grain-producing qualities of the soil were inexhaustible ; hence 
the straw was burned to get it out of the way and the manure was per- 
mitted to go to waste. Crop after crop was taken from the soil, and 
nothing returned in exchange therefor to preserve its fertility until the 
crops became less and less; so that now lands which at one time would 
yield with reasonable certainty 30 to 40 bushels of wheat to the acre 
cannot be depended upon to yield 10 or 15." 

Conditions of the Present 

"With the increase in agricultural population, com and oats have both 
increased in acreage and yield, but not in the proportion they would 
have done had not so large a portion of the rural settlers devoted them- 
selves to the dairy industries. Rye, potatoes and beans are also plentiful 
crops in Columbia County. As thirty years ago, the banner corn towns 
are Arlington, Caledonia, Leeds, Randolph, West Point, Scott, Lowville 
and Hampden, or, generally speaking, the southwestern and northeastern 
portions of the county. The same may be said of the oats area, although 
Courtland and Fountain Prairie are productive districts and therefore 
extend the eastern belt of that crop a little further to the south. Leeds, 
Arlington, Randolph, Courtland and Hampden are good barley sections, 
and De Korra and Marcellon run to rye. Potatoes are readily raised in 
Newport and Lewistou townships, or the northwestern part of the 
county, and Lowville is the largest of the bean towns. 

Over thirty-seven thousand acres of the county are grass lands, against 
nearly thirty-six thousand in 1879, the Township of Leeds being head 
and shoulders above other sections in the production of that crop. One 
is not surprised, of course, to see a shrinkage in the area of growing tim- 
ber during this period of thirty-four years. In 1879 over fifty-eight 
thousand acres were standing in Columbia County; in 1913, or 1914, 
40,553. The largest areas of timber are now in Caledonia (7,215 acres), 
De Korra (4.312) and Marcellon (3,310). 

Some years ago quite an excitement was abroad in the county over 
the prospects of tobacco as a profitable crop, but the fever has abated. 
Not quite twelve hundred acres are now devoted to the cultivation of 
the weed, of which Hampden has 301, Otsego 193, Lowville 188, Arling- 
ton 161 and Lodi 145 ; and these lead all the others. 


The actual production of farm products during the year 1913 was: 
Corn 1,808,293 bushels, oats 1,612,007 bushels, potatoes 678,44-5 bushels, 
barley 407,615 bushels, rye 189,725 bushels, tobacco 1,881,450 pounds and 
hay 35,943 tons. 

Columbia County, in the earlier times, was considered quite an 
apple-bearing country, but most of the old orchards have been aban- 
doned and other parts of the country are so much better adapted to 
the raising of that fruit that it is seldom that new trees are set out. 
The result is that there are now only about thirty-six thousand growing 
apple trees in the county, as compared with 61,000 in 1879. 

A Splendid Dairy County 

A ditferent story is told when a comparison is made between the 
milch cows of the earlier period and the present. In 1879 Columbia 

A Dairy Herd in Columbia County 

County had 11.727 animals of inferior grade, valued at $171,695, while 
the creameries were all home affairs and cheese factories were virtually 
unkno^\Ti. Now there are 21,473 milch cows, many of them as fine as 
any in the country, valued at $805,549. Of this number 4,179 supply the 
16 cheese factories wnth the raw product and 15,300 contribute to the 
creameries. There is no class of industries in Columbia County which 
exceeds in importance those connected with the establishments men- 
tioned, and we are therefore pleased to present to the readers of this 
history the latest obtainable details regarding them. 

Creameries in Columbia County 


Towns, Etc. 


Value > 

ro. Patioi 

IS No cow. 




Columbus, twn. 




' 462,000 



Ft. Winnebago 







Fount 'n Prairie 







Lowville ...... 







Mareellon .... 






West Point . . . 






Cambria * . . . . 






Doylestown * .. 



2,500 1,021,245 



Kilbourn City * 












Poynette * 






Wyocena * .... 







Columbus City, 

2d W 






Portage City, 

2d W 








.15 $38,600 2,077 15,300 5,932^28 2,043,258 $590,728.32 

Cheese Factories 

No. No. Pounds, Pounds, Money 

Towns, Etc. No. Value Patrons Cows Milk Clieese ^ Received 

Arlington 1 $ 1,000 15 250 400,000* 40,000$ 4,800.00. 

Caledonia 1 1,500 27 315 1,638,056 169,500 22,088.58 

Columbus, town. 1 2,500 20 200 594,299 55,778 8,599.28 

Courtland 3 5,000 45 700 2,715,502 275,694 37,851.34 

Fountain Prairie 2 1,900 51 500 1,351,496 133,942 19,720.00 

Randolph t .... 3 3,600 82 955 4,288,117 441,700 65,685.00 

Seott 4 4,400 98 875 3,497,890 352,755 53,357.97 

Fall River, village 1 350 32 384 4,000,000 40,000 8,000.00 

Total 16 $20,250 .370 4,179 14,885,360 1,509,369 $220,102.17 

* Village. 

t Randolph leads the towns as a cheese producer, her brick cheese being widely 
and favorably known. As is seen by the table Scott is her closest competitor. 
Courtland is next, making northeastern Columbia her banner cheese section. 


LwE Stock 

The live stock of Coliiiubia Count}' is by no means confined to mileli 
cows, as the last report of the assessor proves. The value of all other 
cattle is given at $310,967, making a total of $1,116,516 for that class. Its 
14,787 horses are valued at $1,464,271 ; 18,859 swine at $227,188. and 
13,035 sheep and lambs at $48,685. 

County Agricultural Society 

For over sixty years the farmers have been organizing and sup- 
porting agricultural societies, designed both as social factors and to 
stimulate and protect their interests. Various local and sectional socie- 
ties and fairs, such as the Union Fair at Columbus and the Lodi Union 
Agricultural Society, grew out of the pai-ent body, known as the Co- 
lumbia County Agricultural Society. A suggestion which led to the 
organization of the county society was made by Jesse Van Ness, of 
West Point, at a meeting of the board of supervisors held at Portage in 
November, 1851. His suggestion was received so favorably by his fellow 
members that soon after a preliminarj' meeting of farmers and leading 
citizens was held at school house No. 7, in the Town of Fort Winnebago. 

Van Ness became president pro tem, and Joseph Kerr of Randolph, 
F. C. Curtis of Lowville and J. A. Guptil of Scott were appointed a 
committee on constitution. On the 19th of the month the meeting re- 
assembled, adopted a constitution which was simplicity itself, and about 
fifty leading farmers throughout the county paid 25 cents each for 
becoming members of the society. 

The ofScers elected* were : President. J. Van Ness, West Point; first 
vice president, Joseph Kerr, Randolph ; second vice president, Thomas C. 
Smith, Columbus; treasurer, F. C. Curtis, Lowville; recording secretarj', 
John A. Byrne, Otsego; corresponding secretary, Henry Converse, 

First Fair and Secretary's Report 
The first fair of the Columbia County Agricultural Society was held 
on the commons at Wyocena. The receipts were $15.75 and the dis- 
bursements $11.80, but everybody had a good time, and the society went 
forward with a hopeful face. At least one may so infer from the first 
report of Secretary Byrne, which he issued as follows: 

Otsego, December 6, 1852. 
Dear Sir : — The first annual fair and cattle show of Columbia County 
Agricultural Society was held in the village of Wyocena, in November 


last; but this being our first attempt, it was, as was to be expected, 
somewhat meagre ; however, as a starting point and a beginning, it was 
one of which we may justly feel proud. Like our parent, the state 
society, we commenced without funds or patronage. Our ])irth was 
slowly and humble ; our future — who shall say ? 

At the session of the Board of Supervisors in November, 1851, a few 
of our practical farmers, while chatting sociably on this topic, proposed 
having a primary meeting, for the purpose of getting an expres- 
sion of public sentiment. It was done. A proposition to organize a 
county society was received with favor. Committees were appointed to 
draft a constitution and by-laws, and to nominate officers. An adjourn- 
ment then took place, and on reassembling, a constitution was agreed 
upon, officers appointed, and an address delivered by Hon. Joseph Kerr, 
of Randolph, and under such auspices we came into existence ; the vital 
spark was infused into our materiality, and now it needs but little to 
fan it to the vigor of manhood. 

The notice of our fair had been issued only a few days prior to the 
time of holding it, consequently the attendance was thin, and yet large 
enough to show that, with proper organization and a due share of 
exertion on the part of each member and officer, Columbia will yet take 
a proud position among her sister counties in this State, in the cause 
of agriculture. To obtain that point, but one course is necessary. The 
society has now taken root; let it extend its branches into each town- 
ship, school district and road district; let its members, and all friends 
of agricultural knowledge, take an interest in its welfare, and it must 

The officers elected for the ensuing year are as follows : President, 
Joseph Kerr, Randolph; vice presidents, Daniel S. Bushnell, Wyocena, 
and George M. Bartholomew, Lodi; secretary, Henry Converse, Wyo- 
cena ; treasurer, Frederick C. Curtis, Lowville ; executive committee, 
R. C. Rockwood, Wyocena; J. Q. Adams, Fall River; John Converse, 
East Randolph; Jesse Van Ness, West Point; Henry Merrell, Portage 

I remain, dear sir, 

truly yours, 

John A. Byrne, 
Secretary Columbia County Agricultural Society. 

This report was printed in the Wyocena Advance a few months ago, 
and drew forth an addendum from A. J. Townsend, the Lowville and 
Wyocena pioneer. "After reading the report of the first county fair 
in last week's advance," he says, "this thought came to me: How 


many are alive that took part in that fair sixty-one years ago this fall? 

"There was a fine exhibition of grains, vegetables and stock. Jacob 
Townsend and sons of Lowville had a herd of fine Devon cattle, on which 
they took all the first premiums. There were a few fine horses exhibited. 

■"Some amusing incidents during the fair: Two men from ]\IarcelIon 
came with a large rangy horse and stumped everybody for a race for 
ten dollars. No takers until the Lowville boys raised the money and ran 
John Low's pony against the Marcellon horse. The pony won by ten 
rods, and the men took their departure amid the shouts of the large crowd 
of spectators, minus the ten. 

'•Then John Gilbert of Lowville asked his father, Jonathan Gilbert, 
for a dollar. The old man said, 'No, but I will put up a dollar for the 
winner of a foot race with ten starters, and I will be one of them.' The 
race was made up and the old man started and ran a few rods and 
said: 'Oh, pshaw! I won't run.' John won the race and got the 
dollar. ' ' 

Other Fairs 

The show and cattle fair of 1853 was also held at Wyocena. At 
that exhibition there were nineteen entries under the class of horses; 
twelve under cattle ; one, poultry, and two, farm implements — one of 
which was a plow and the other a vertical gate. The receipts were $20, 
disbursements $18.81. 

The fair held at Columbus September 20, 1854, was an improvement 
over the Wyocena shows. The scene of the exhibition and the rural 
festivities was at the forks of the road on the western declivity of 
what became known as Lewis & Cook's hill. The "^Mountain House," a 
little hotel kept by A. P. Birdsej' between the two roads, was the hall 
of fine arts, and in it were displayed a few fruits and specimens of fine 
needlework. There wei'e ninety-nine entries. The receipts for members' 
fees amounted to $32. Of this $18 was disbursed in premiums, together 
with thirty-one volumes of the State Agricultural Society and sundry 

Since then fairs have been held at the following places: Portage, 
1855; Wyocena, 1856 and 1857; Portage, 1858 and 1859; Cambria, I860; 
Portage, 1861 and 1862; Lodi, 1863; Columbus, 1864; Portage, 1865 
and 1866; Columbus, 1867; Portage, 1868; Columbus, 1869; Portage, 
1870; Columbus, 1871; Portage, 1872; Columbus, 1873, and at Portage 
since 1874. In that year the City of Portage purchased forty acres of 
land in the First Ward, made a park of it and gave the Columbia County 
Agricultural Society, or its successors, an indefinite lease of the grounds. 


Each year up to 1901 at this place an annual fair was held under the 
auspices of the society. 

Columbia County Fair Association 

In 1901 the old society had become weakened by adverse conditions, 
and the Columbia County Fair Association, a stock company, was organ- 
ized. This organization, with sufficient finances back of it, proceeded to 
breathe new life into the annual exhibits of the county. New buildings 
were erected, new methods pursued, and the fair, as the result of the 
efforts of the stockholders of the association, is one of the biggest and 
best in the state. The first ofScers of the new association were : J. H. 
Wills, president; J. E. Jones, secretary, and R. N. McConochie, treas- 
urer. The present officers of the association are : C. Hecker, president ; 
F. A. Rzyme, secretary, and A. J. Jamieson, treasurer. 

Other fairs existing in the county at present, and which give annual 
exhibits, are the Lodi Union Fair, at Lodi, and the Inter-County Fair, 
held at Kilbourn City. 

Curling in Columbia County 

Columbia County is the home of more curlers and more curling clubs 
than any other similar locality in the United States. The Scottish 
settlers in the county brought the spirit of the "roarin' game" with 
them from the old country, and as early as 1855 a club was organized 
in the town of Caledonia. Instead of the handsome stone now used, 
the pioneers used wooden blocks, many of the old blocks being in exist- 
ence today and held as relics by the various existing clubs. About 1870 
these wooden blocks were succeeded by iron, and for a dozen years the 
iron block was in use. About 1880 John Graham, the pioneer druggist 
of Portage, had two pairs of granite stones imported from Leith, Scot- 

The curlers of the early days built their rinks of ice on the ponds, 
rivers and lakes. Silver Lake, in Portage County, being the popular re- 
sort for county and state bonspiels. Thither the curlers annually from 
Columbia County, Milwaukee, Chicago and other points used to assemble 
in large numbers and enjoy immensely the famous outdoor sport in the 
invigorating atmosphere. The colder the weather, the keener the sport. 
At one county bonspiel held on the pond in the village of Poynette over 
one hundred curlers played all day in the open, while the thermometer 
registered over 30° below zero. So exciting was the sport that no one 
noticed the frosty atmosphere. 


In later years the sport lias become entirely an indoor sport, all of 
the clubs playing in rink houses erected for that purpose. 

While the game was originally confined almost wholly to the Scotch 
nationality, it is now the winter sport in Columbia County of all nation- 
alities. Clubs are located at Portage, Pardeeville, Cambria, Columbus, 
Arlington, Poynette, Port Hope, Silicaville, De Korra and Wyocena. 
Portage has the most jjretentious and commodious rink building in the 
state, and there annually the curlers of Wisconsin meet during the first 
week in February and play continuously night and day for an entire 
week, in what is known as the "state bonspiel," for prizes that are 
competed for annually. 

The game is participated in by men of all ages. The boy of fifteen 
competes with the veteran of three score and ten. No betting is allowed 
— and the game is indeed and in fact, a gentleman's sport. 

There is no aristocracy on the ice. The banker and the hod carrier, 
the clergyman and the dispenser of stimulants are on an equal footing 
and forget all difl'ereuces in station when engaged in the famous winter 
sport, and rinks that have won renown in state, interstate and local 
bonspiels are the famous Crusaders, skipped by J. H. Wells ; the Invin- 
cibles, skipped by J. E. Jones; the Ironsides, skipped by R. N. Mc- 
Conochie; the Pardeevillians, skipped by L. J. Tucker; the famous 
Reedal rink of De Korra, Hal. Rockwood's Portage Terriei-s, Ed. Se- 
ville's Lodians, Bob Robinson's Scotch Laddies of Arlington, and the 
Wild Westerners, skipped by Charlie Delany of Poynette, and in recent 
years the sons of the older curlers are taking the laurels from their 
fathers and the newcomers are threatening to be more expert than their 



First Columbia County Newspaper — Suspension of the River 
Times — John A. Brown and the Badger State — "Shanghai" 
Chandler and the Independent — Robert B. Wentworth and 
the Portage City Record — Enter A. J. Turner — ^Wisconsin 
State Register Founded — Brannan & Turner — The Register 
FROM 1885 to Date — A. J. Turner and Major Lockwood — First 
Columbus Newspaper — ^^Visconsin Mirror Precedes Kilbourn 
City — The Columbus Democrat — The Columbus Republican — • 
First German Newspaper, Der Wecker — Rundshau und 
Wecker — Launching of the Portage Democrat — James E. 
Jones — Lodi's Ups and Downs — The Enterprise — The Poynette 
Press — Pardeeville Times and Badger Blade (Rio) — Kilbourn 's 
Newspaper Ventures — Wyocena Advance — Other County News- 
papers — Defunct Papers. 

The press of Columbia County was born in 1850, the year after the 
last of the Indian lands were thrown open to white settlers. John 
Delaney was its father— an energetic, honest, brilliant Irishman, who 
had set his first type sixteen years before in the office of the Green Bay 
Intelligencer, the first newspaper published in Wisconsin. Mr. Delaney 
afterward studied law and was admitted to the bar, and therefore came 
to Portage well grounded in two professions. His brother James came 
with him ; also a few cases of type and a battered printing press. 

First Columbia County Newspaper 

On the 4th of July, 1850, the Delaney brothers issued their Fox 
and Wisconsin River Times from a wooden shanty which stood on the 
northwest side of the canal. It was a six-column folio, democratic, and 
high and hopeful of spirit. Passing over its general literary features, 
its optimism breathes in Delaney 's editorial which speaks so positively 


of the feasibility of the Fox and Wisconsin improvement — a direct inland 
water communication between New York and New Orleans, via Portage — 
placed beyond question, with the means at hand for its completion. He 
declares that the short canal to connect the rivers A\ill be finished that 
summer, and states that the Wisconsin is traversed regularly by steamers 
throughout its entire route, and that the navigaljle portions of the Fox 
have also their steamers plying regularly between the cities and towns. 

In a supplementary greeting to the public. Editor Delaney apologizes 
for not describing the town and adjacent localities. He is willing, how- 
ever, to receive advertising patronage. His establishment cost him 
$1,000, and current expenses were heavy, but he hopes that he has not 
commenced prematurel.y and that he will be reimbursed and do a good 
business, the newspaper having become necessary to civilization. He 
is not quite sure of his subscription list, and for the purpose of ascer- 
taining who his patrons really are will postpone the next issue for three 
or four weeks. The next paper was not published, in fact, until 
August 5th. 

The one prediction, which has come to pass, was made by Brother 
Delaney in his salutatory: "We this day publish the first number of 
the Fox and Wisconsin River Times. If it is not a curiosity now, it will 
be hereafter, as the first paper published in the City of Fort Winne- 
bago. ' ' 

Suspension of the River Times 

James Delaney, Jr., brilliant and popular, like his brother, was 
dro\vned in the Wisconsin River, May 31, 1853. At the time he was city 
clerk of Portage and but twenty-seven years of age. In the August 
following John A. Brown became associated with Joseph Delaney, 
brother of John and James, in the publication of the paper. The office 
was removed to the second story of Moore & Gorman's building, opposite 
the Pettibone Block, where the paper continued to be jjublished under 
the new management until its suspension as the River Times September 
17, 1853. 

John A. Brown and the Badger State 

On the following 1st of October ]\Ir. Brown rechristened the journal, 
of which he was sole editor and proprietor, giving it the name Badger 
State, under which he had published a paper at Janesville. As ex- 
plained in his announcement: "Under the new arrangement we have 
taken a new name for the paper; not because we have any objection 


to that of the River Times; but we have a decided partiality for our 
old name of Badger State. It was endeared to us in earlier times — 
during the old constitution fight, when we joined to raise the chorus: 

" 'We are a band of brothers 

In the new Badger State.' " 
On the 14th of April, 1855, Chauncey C. Britt became an equal 
partner with Mr. Brown. The Badger State had already been enlarged, 
and it was again expanded the year after the copartnership was formed. 
The paper continued to be vigorously democratic. On the 15th of 
Aug-ust, 1856, the Badger State office was moved to the new Badger 
Block, and the editors invited their friends to ' ' call and make themselves 
comfortable in the prettiest printing office in the state." Early in the 
following year Mr. Britt became sole publisher, and within 1857 and 
1858 there were a number of changes in management, indicating some- 
thing unsubstantial in the operations of the Badger State. The 4th of 
December, of the latter year, saw Mr. Brown again at the helm, but his 
death on the 10th of February, 1859, really killed the paper. His widow 
and J. M. Doty, one of the former editoi's, attempted to save it, but it 
finally suspended December 10th following Mr. Bro\\Ti's decease. 

"SHANGHAr' Chandler and the Independent 

In the meantime the republican party had been bom, and The 
Independent had been espousing its cause at Portage since 1855. On 
February 3rd, of that year, John A. and Julius C. Chandler issued its 
first number. A year thereafter, the latter assumed sole proprietorship, 
but on the 14th of April, 1857, Mr. Chandler— " Shanghai " Chandler, 
the humorist and eccentric genius of early local journalism — abandoned 
the Independent, bought the outfit of the defimct democratic infant, the 
Columbia County Reporter, and established a paper at Friendship, 
Adams County. He died at Baraboo in the late '70s. 

Robert B. Wentworth and the Portage City Record 

Robert B. Wentworth founded the Portage City Record upon the 
good will and subscription list of the Independent. The first number 
of the Record was issued April 29, 1857, and on its editorial page 
appear the names of M. M. Davis and A. J. Turner. Mr. Davis' editorial 
contributions had attracted some attention from the readers of the Inde- 
pendent, but Mr. Turner was virtually unknown as an editor. He had 
had a short experience as city editor of the Madison State Journal; 


otherwise he had been setting type in various offices, ineluding the defunct 

Mr. Wentworth, the proprietor of the Record, was an experienced 
journalist, in-so-far as the general management of a newspaper was 
concerned. He had formerly been associated with Charles Billinghui-st 
in the establishment of the first newspaper in Dodge County, the 
Gazette, published at Juneau. He was also a practical printer. 

Enter A. J. Turner 

On the 11th of November ^Ir. Davis severed his connection with the 
Record as editorial writer, his duties being assumed by Mr. Turner. 
Shortly afterward the latter went to Friendship to assist "Shanghai" 
Chandler. But ilr. Turner was destined for Portage, to which he re- 
turned in March, 1859, and resumed his former relations with the 
Record. Ere this, the paper had become one of the most prosperous 
journals in the county. In fact, it seemed to have too much official 
business, and the republican leaders decided that a division of the spoils 
was no moi-e than fair. In this predicament of party affairs, on the 17th 
of April, 1861, i\Ir. Wentworth sold the Record to A. J. Turner. 

Wisconsin State Register Founded 

About a month previous — March 16, 1861 — Samuel S. Brannan 
issued the first number of the Wisconsin State Register at Portage, the 
material used in its publication having been used by the Badger State. 
jMr. Brannan "s experience in journalism had commenced as a "devil" in 
the shanty of the River Times. In his salutatory the editor said: 
"Having long been convinced of the necessity for a representative organ 
in this city, one which will fully and fairly reflect the views of the re- 
publican party, and having received such assurances as will justify the 
enterprise, we have concluded to commence the publication of the Wis- 
consin State Register. To enable us more fully to complete our arrange- 
ments for the publication of the paper, no sheet will be issued for the 
next week or two from this office. We shall, early in April, enlarge and 
otherwise improve our paper." 

Brannan & Turner, Proprietors 

On the 27th of April, .soon after the suspension of the Record, the 
Register appeared enlarged from a seven to an eight-column folio; 


Braunan & Turner, proprietors ; Israel Holmes and A. J. Turner, editors, 
and S. S. Brannan, local editor. The change is announced in the fol- 
lo-\\ing card signed by Mr. Turner: "In the last Portage City Record 
announcement was made of the fact that the office had been sold to the 
undersigned. This week I have the further announcement to make that 
I have united my interest in the office with those of S. S. Brannan of 
the State Register, and that henceforth both papers will be published 
unitedly under the name of the Wisconsin State Register, by Brannan, 
Turner & Company, and will be conducted by I. Holmes and A. J. 
Turner as principal editors and S. S. Brannan as local editor. No 
further number of the Record will be issued, except a small edition to 
close up some legal advertisements. Advertisers in the Record, residing 
out of the city, will have their contracts completed in the State Register. 
All accounts of the Record will be adjusted by R. B. Wentworth. All 
subscribers who overpaid for the Record will be furnished with the 
State Register to the close of their subscriptions." 

]Mr. Holmes, the leading editorial \\Titer, was a lawyer by profession 
and a very able man. In April, 186-i, he disposed of his interest iu the 
Register to Messrs. Brannan and Turner and retired from journalism. 
Under their able management, both business and editorial, the Register 
flourished. In February, 1878, the paper was sold to Judge John T. 
Clark and B. F. Goodell. The former was editor and the latter in 
charge of the mechanical departments. 

The Register from 1885 to Date 

On February, 16, 1885, Judge John T. Clark sold his one-half in- 
terest to Major S. S. Rockwood and the firm became Rockwood and 
Goodell. Major Rockwood was one of the most scholarly and able 
writers connected with the press of the state. He remained editor of 
the paper until 1887, when he retired to accept a position in the state 
land office. The Portage Daily Register was started during his editor- 
ship. During the Iqte '80s the Register Printing Company was estab- 
lished and met with business reverses. Mr. Goodell retired from the 
management, taking the job department to Superior, Wis. Maurice 
Goodman became editor of the paper in 1891. In 1892 J. H. Waggoner 
bought the paper and became its editor. In 1894 Mr. Goodman bought 
the paper back from Waggoner and continued its publication until 
1908, when it was sold to the Wisconsin State Register Company, of 
which company A. A. Porter is the principal stockholder. 


A. J. Turner and Major Rockwood 

At this point we pause to pay a tribute to two Columbia County 
editors who attained merited prominence in state and national affairs — 
Andrew Jackson Turner and Sheppard S. Rockwood. 

When A. J. Turner disposed of the "Wisconsin State Register he 
retired from active journalism, although he was prominent in local, 
state and national affairs almost to the time of his death, June 10, 1905. 
The deceased was a firm republican all his mature life, but he was 
broader and deeper than partisanship of any kind, and as a conse- 
quence no man was moi"e widely beloved or admired in Columbia County 
than ' ' Jack ' ' Turner. Small but compact of stature, his tireless activities, 
covering a variety of subjects, seemed one of the miracles of nature ; but 
running through them all was a steadfast affection for the people and 
localities which cemented him to Portage and Columbia County as his 
home. The last years of his life were especially devoted to an exhaustive 
investigation of every fact having a bearing upon the remarkable history 
of the county which so closely centered in the portage between the 
Wisconsin and Fox. His last and most valuable contribution to this 
class of literature was the little book entitled "The Family Tree of 
Columbia County," to whose condensed wealth of material the editor of 
this volume acknowledges his indebtedness. 

The last fragment of manuscript which is known to have left his 
hand was a little note addressed to a member of Wau-Bun Chapter, 
D. A. R., whose labors in behalf of historic memorials and investigations 
had always met his heartiest co-operation. 

The Facts op Mr. Turner's Life 

A. J. Turner was born in the town of Schuyler Falls, N. Y., Sep- 
tember 24, 1832. He lived there on a farm until 1853, when he moved to 
Grand Rapids to take a case in the office of the Grand River Eagle. 
Returning to his native town in 1855, he "set up" the first number of 
the Plattsburg Sentinel, teaching school for a short time and again 
settling in Grand Rapids early in the same year. In September, 1855, 
he came to Portage, and the second day after his arrival was employed 
as a compositor in the Independent office. He worked there until the 
spring of 1856, when he went to l\Iadison, and for a year was employed 
on the State Journal both as a printer and city editor. 

As stated, in the spring of 1857 Mr. Turner returned to Portage and 
became one of the editors of the Record. During the following twenty 


years his newspaper experiences have been traced in the sketches of 
that journal and the Wisconsin State Register. 

During the period named Mr. Turner served one term as clerk of the 
Circuit Court, commencing in January, 1861, and, as compiler of the 
Legislative Manual of Wisconsin in 1870-74, created the Blue Book, 
which has no superior of its kind in the United States. He served in 
the assembly in 1862, 1863, 1865 and 1868, and for several years there- 
after was officially connected with the Portage & Superior Railroad and 
the Portage, Stevens Point & Superior Railroad, which were absorbed 
hy the Wisconsin Central System, and the Portage, Friendship & Grand 
Rapids Line, subsequently consolidated with the Madison & Portage. 

Mr. Turner was chief clerk of the Wisconsin State Senate in 1876- 
78, resigning that position to accept the office of state railroad commis- 
sioner, to which he had been appointed by Governor William E. Smith. 
He also held that office after his retirement from the State Register. 

In 1881 he was elected mayor of Portage and twice reelected, and 
served repeatedly as supervisor of his ward and in other local positions. 
He was a delegate to the republican national conventions of 1868, 1880, 
1888 and 1892, and in the last named year was the acknowledged leader 
in the legislation which resulted in the rearrangement of the state into 
congressional and legislative districts. It was his work more than the 
efforts of any other one man which led to the overthrowing of the two 
xmeonstitutional reapportionments of 1891-92. Mr. Turner acted as 
supervisor of the United States census for the Third Wisconsin District 
in 1880, and for the First District in 1900 ; in 1897, by appointment of 
Judge Siebecker, he became chairman of the jury commission for Colum- 
bia County, and it may be that, even with this, some office has escaped 
us which was held by that marvel of industry and practical ability, 
A. J. Turner. 

Mr. Turner's married and domestic life was ideal. His wife was 
Mary 0. Hanford, to whom he was married at Friendship, Adams County, 
May 29, 1860. They had three children — Frederick J. Turner, suc- 
cessively of the University of Wisconsin and Yale ; William F. Turner, a 
business man of Portage ; and Ellen B., now Mrs. E. W. Demoe, of Oak- 
land, California. 

Ma.j. S. S. Rockwood 

Maj. Sheppard S. Rockwood was a scholarly gentleman and a fine 
type of the American citizen. He was only in the journalistic field of 
Columbia County for a couple of years, but he was in it long enough to 
endear himself to the people of the entire county. 


Born in Frankfort, N. Y., December 21, 1838, he came West with 
his parents in his second year. The family settled in Walworth County, 
Wis., during 1841, and a few years later located in Harmony Township, 
Rock County. He graduated from Milton (Wis.) College, married Flora 
A. Hawley, qi that place, in 1859, later was a member of the faculty of 
the college, and when the Civil war broke out in 1861 was a junior at 
the University of Wisconsin. 

Major Roekwood wa.s commissioned second lieutenant of Company B, 
Thirteenth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, at the formation of the regi- 
ment, and shortly after the fall of Vicksburg became captain and com- 
missary of the army corps. In 1865 he served in Texas as commissary 
on General Custer's staff, and on October 6th of that year was mustered 
out with the rank of brevet major, United States Volunteers. 

From 1865 to 1868 Major Roekwood engaged in business as a Chicago 
produce commission merchant, but his training and tastes were all toward 
the scholarly and for two years and a half after his Chicago experience 
he was identified with the mathematical department of Milton College. 
While thus engaged he received the degree of Master of Arts from the 
University of Wisconsin, being then called to the Whitewater Normal 
School, where for nine years he was professor of mathematics. 

In 1881 Major Roekwood served under Superintendent Whitford as 
assistant to the state superintendent of schools, his editorial experience 
covering the years 1883-87* During that period he was editor and pro- 
prietor of the Elkhorn Independent, editor and part owner of the Janes- 
ville Daily Recorder and editor and part owner of the Wisconsin State 
Register. Soon after severing his connection with the State Register, in 
1887, he assumed his duties as clerk of the Wisconsin State Land Office, 
which office he held 1887-89 ; was chief clerk of the United States Depart- 
ment of Agriculture from 1889-92 ; assistant chief of the United States 
Weather Bureau, 1892-93, and secretary of the board of regents of the 
State Normal Schools of AVisconsin, 1895-1905. 

Major Roekwood 's death at Portage on July 12, 1905, removed from 
the county and the state a foremost citizen, a gentleman of true ability 
and worth. He left two sons — H. S. Roekwood, for twenty years the 
able local editor of the Portage Democrat, and George S. Roekwood, of 
Yuma, Arizona. 

First Columbus Newspaper 

The press obtained a weak foothold in Columbus about 1853, in the 
shape of the Columbia Reporter, founded and edited by Carr Hunting- 
ton, who moved his young child to Portage in 1857. It survived that 


transplanting but a few months, when it was sold out under sheriff's 
execution and the material lugged off to Friendship by "Shanghai" 

The Columbus Journal lasted from January, 1855, to November, 
1864. It was au offspring of the republican party and was conducted 
most of the time by either Daniel or Marcus A. Mallo. Its founder, 
Daniel Mallo, who was one of the oldest publishers in the Northwest, 
was in charge of it at the time of his death, October 30, 1864, and the 
Journal survived his demise but a short time. 

Wisconsin Mirror Precedes Kilbourn City 

The first building erected on the site of the present Kilbourn City 
was a little cottage for Alanson Holly, of Warsaw, N. Y., who had come 
West in the fall of 1855 seeking a location in that part of the country's 
wilds, and an even smaller building for the printing and publishing of 
the Wisconsin Mirror; for Mr. Holly was a newspaper man, and had so 
much faith in the country and his venture that he had brought his family 
with him to live in the new village which had just been platted by the 
Wisconsin River Hydraulic Company. On December 22, 1855, the news- 
paper building was inclosed, and while the plasterers were at work the 
"hands" in the office unboxed the type and set up the press. It was 
so cold that the compositors had to bathe their fingers in warm water 
every few minutes to make them limber. 

As the paper was being made ready for the press, on New Year's of 
1856, a number of friends gathered in the office and proposed to sell the 
first copy at auction. The result of the suggestion exceeded Editor 
Holly's fondest hopes, for the first copy brought $65. The second and 
third papers struck from the press were bid in at $10 and $5, respectively ; 
whereupon the bidding ceased. For many months mails were received 
once, twice or three times a week at the village of Newport, two miles 
distant, and thither the editor was obliged to go for his exchanges and 
other mail matter. The Hollys (Alanson and H. A.) published the 
Mirror for a number of years, the proprietors who subsequently came 
into possession being T. 0. Thompson, D. L. and E. B. Davis, Frank 0. 
Wesner and W. M. Cole. In October, 1876, while Mr. Cole was conduct- 
ing it, the office was burned; and no attempt was made to revive the 

The Columbus Democrat 

In the winter of 1864-65 Valentine Baltuff brought to Columbus the 
outfit of his Lodi Weekly Herald, which had suspended during the 


previous November at the age of twenty months, and experimented with 
the Transcript until August, 1868. 

The remains of the Transcript w-ere gathered by Hem-y D. Bath, who 
on September 10, 1868, brought out the Columbus Democrat. In his 
announcement to the public, Mr. Bath says: "It is already known by- 
many that the Columbus Transcript, which was formerly issued from 
this office, has changed hands, and today, for the first time, w-e believe, in 
ten years, the colors of the Democratic party are hoisted by a newspaper 
in Columbia county." Henry D. Bath, who was a most vigorous and 
talented writer, managed the paper successfully for ten years, when his 
editorial career was terminated by death. He was succeeded successively 
by H. D. James and D. W. Bath, C. C. Eaton, George E. Bunsa, and 
Frank D. Goodwin (its present editor). 

But it did not stand to reason that the republican party, which was 
in a majority throughout the county, should be without a representative 
newspaper. Its leaders did not propose' that the republican Transcript 
should give birth to the democratic Democrat and leave their rivals with- 
out a competitor. 

The Columbus Republican 

The party leaders therefore called upon J. R. Decker, then publishing 
the Waupuii Times, to come to Columbus and establish an organ for and the general interests of the county. They offered him . 
such liberal inducements that he sold out his paper, went to Chicago, 
where he bought an entire new printing office, including a job press, 
the latter something novel in Columbus. Mr. Decker first established 
his plant on the second floor of Shaffer's Block, in the room that for 
many years Squire Famham afterward occupied as his justice's office. 
The room was soon found to be too small, and after various removals 
was located on Ludington Street. 

The first issue of the Republican was on October 7, 1868, less than a 
month after the appearance of the Democrat. It was a seven-column 
folio and, with new type and press, presented a handsome appearance. 
Mr. Decker was also a strong writer and an experienced editor, and was 
ably seconded by good local talent. Among other talented w-riters he 
was assisted by Le Roy Irons, whose brilliant career was only condensed 
by death. Mr. Decker continued to guide the Republican to wide influ- 
ence and financial prosperity for a period of forty years, his job office 
obtaining a fine reputation, as well as his newspaper. Upon the death 
of ^Ir. Decker, in 1908, Robert C. Leitsch, a native of Columbus and a 
thoroughly educated business man, became proprietor of the Republican. 


First German Newspaper, Der Wecker 

By the early '70s the German element had become so strong in Colum- 
bia County that it demanded and obtained a newspaper. On September 
1, 1874, the Columbia County Wecker was first issued by Gustavus A. 
Selbach, an experienced journalist who had already founded newspapers 
at Appleton (Volksfreund) and at Mansfield, Ohio (Courier). For a 
dozen years Der Wecker upheld its name and continued to "wake up" 
the Germans of Columbia County, as well as not a few English-speaking 
people. The paper was democratic in polities. 

Rundschau und Wecker 

In 1886 a competitor appeared in Rundschau, but as the years 
it became evident that the field was not large enough for two well-sus- 
tained German newspapers, and in 1905 they were wisely consolidated. 
Frank Heidt, who had been identified with Rundschau since its estab- 
lishment, continued to be the moving spirit of the new publication until 
April 1, 1912, when J. Schnell assumed control. Rundschau und 
Wecker is the only German newspaper in Central Wisconsin, is inde- 
pendent in tone, and well voices the interests of the countrymen who 
support it. 

Launching op the Portage Democrat 

Since the suspension of the Badger State in 1859 the City of Portage 
had been without a democratic newspaper published in English, and to 
those who believed in the principles of that party the situation became 
more and more intolerable. So, in JMarch, 1877, at the solicitation of 
their democratic friends in that city, Henry D. Bath, editor of the 
Columbus Democrat, and his brother, W. E. Bath, established the Portage 
Democrat, a seven-column folio: Said the editors in their salutatory: 
"For the first time in almost twenty years a Democratic newspaper in 
the English language is issued in this city. We are here for the estab- 
lishment of a legitimate business and to meet a need which has long and 
repeatedly been represented to us as existing in this community. We 
are not here to encroach upon the province of any other journal, but to 
do work in an open field. The Register is an old and ably conducted 
newspaper which has done very much to advance the material interests 
of Portage. Its editors are our personal friends and we hope they will 
remain so, however divergent the line of our political operations may be. 


The Advance is not at all in our way, and the Weaker is our ally. We 
propose, in the interests of Reform-Democracy and not in subserviency 
to any ring or clique of it, to make as good a newspaper as we can. To 
this end we invoke the cooperation of every member of the party, and 
will devote our utmost endeavors to render it the most efficient aid within 
our power. But the political work of a local journal is, after all, but a 
small part of the labor which it has to do. It should be ever busy in 
furthering the business interests and social welfare of the community 
where it is published. It is a record of the life of the people in its 
vicinity; the chronicler of their joys and sorrows, their successes and 
reverses, and its general purpose is to do good to those within the circle 
of its influence and to be of value to them in the accomplishment of 
worthy objects. Such are the aims of the Portage Democrat." 

Early in 1878 the health of W. E. Bath, who had been in charge of 
the Democrat since its launching, failed, and Irving Bath, formerly a 
clerk in the state land office, went to Portage to conduct the paper. He 
afterwards became sole owner and remained at its head until the sum- 
mer of 1881, when he, like his brother, became a victim of consumption. 

Mr. Bath prevailed upon a young country school teacher of demo- 
cratic persuasion, who had never seen the inside of a printing office, to 
take charge of the editorial work, while he went away seeking health. 
This pedagogue was J. E. Jones. After six weeks of absence ilr. Bath 
returned, his health unimproved, and he began to banter the young 
school teacher to turn editor and buy the newspaper. ]Mr. Jones was at 
first quite skeptical as to the solidity of his talents in that line, but he 
liked the business, as he confessed very recently, and the more he thought 
it over the warmer he became. So at length he bolted from the office 
out into the suburbs and secured funds to swang the purchase, and he 
has blessed his self-confidence ever since ; for the Democrat is a credit to 
him, to Portage and the state. 

This was November 1, 1881, and Mr. Jones has controlled the destinies 
of the paper ever since, a period of thirty-three years. The Democrat 
has always been aggressively democratic and has wielded a far-reaching 
influence in the community through which it circulates. In 1886 the 
Daily Democrat was established and has been published continuously 

James Edwin Jones 

By H. G. Cutler 

Mr. Jones, whose name appears as the editor of this work, suggested 
to the writer that it would be out of place to incorporate in this history 


anything relating to himself, but we thought diffei-ently, and the informa- 
tion obtained was received from other sources. 

J. E. Jones' prominence both as a journalist and as a public man 
dates from his purchase of the Portage Democrat in 1881, of which paper 
he has been editor and proprietor continuously for a period of thirty- 
three years; and he is still in his prime, active and robust. Under his 
guidance tlje growth, influence and prosperity of the paper has been 
continuous. He is one of the old school thoroughbred democrats, posi- 
tive in his belief and fearless in the promulgating of the principles he 
believes to be correct. 

In 1885 Mr. Jones was appointed postmaster of Portage under Cleve- 
land's first term, and held the office until 1889. He served as a member 
of the democratic state central committee for a dozen years, and was 
chairman of the democratic county committee for sixteen years. 

In matters affecting Portage City he has always been a leader in both 
political and business affairs. He served his city as alderman and for 
six consecutive terms as its mayor. 

During his administrations the city was improved as never before. 
The fine city hall was built and completed; modern waterworks secured 
by the city ; the paved area of the municipality greatly extended ; taxes 
equalized between city and county, and the levee system greatly extended 
to protect the city. Mr. Jones secured the $20,000 from the state by 
incessant work, and got the state to assume control of the system. Thus 
has been constructed a perfect levee system, to protect not only the city 
but a great portion of the state from the overflows of the Wisconsin 

Jlr. Jones was a delegate or alternate delegate to the Democratic 
National Conventions of 1884, 1888, 1892, 1896 and 1900, and has been a 
delegate to every Democratic State Convention in Wisconsin since 1882. 
In 1891 he was appointed by Governor Peck a member of the State Board 
of Control of Charitable and Penal Institutions, was elected president of 
that body and served until 1895. In 1898 and in 1908 he was the demo- 
cratic candidate for Congress in his district, but the district being heavily 
republican, he was each time defeated with his party. 

Mr. Jones has held various other local and state offices by appoint- 
ment, or election, but has during the last few years become interested in 
other enterprises and has dropped the political game. He is at this time 
devoting his entire energies to the building of a system of interurban 
railroads through Central Wisconsin, and it seems probable that he will 
be successful. He is president and general manager of the enterprise. 

Mr. Jones was born on a farm in the to^\^l of Packwaukee, Mar- 
quette County, Wisconsin, November 16, 1854. The family soon after 


moved to ^Mintello, and while he was still a lad settled on a farm in the 
town of Fort Winnebago, Columbia County. There he attended district 
schools and assisted his father on the farm until his majority. Later 
he entered the State Normal School at Oshkosh, and for six years, both 
before and after graduation, was a teacher in the public schools. 

On January 25, 1882, Mr. Jones married Miss Lena L. Converse, of 
Portage, and they have three children — Edwin C, a graduate of the 
state university and now associated with his father in the publication 
of the Democrat; Carol (]Mrs. Harlan B. Rogers), and ilarjorie, at Rock- 
ford College. 

Mrs. Jones is foremost in all movements which are of an uplifting 
nature, was especially influential in establishing the public library and 
is active in all the patriotic and literary work of the women's organiza- 
tions of the community. 

KiLBOURX 's Newspaper Ventures 

The first settler in Kilbourn was an editor ; the first thing to locate 
in the unbroken forest was a newspaper. In December, 1855, Alanson 
Holly built a board shanty and issued the first number of the "Wisconsin 
:Mirror. This was published several years and discontinued for a short 
time, to be continued later by a son of the original editor. It again sus- 
pended in 1878, and for several years Kilbourn had several successive 
papers, the Dells Reporter and the Guard having short runs each. 

In 1880 William Woodruff established the Kilbourn Gazette, selling 
out in 1883 to Adams Brothers. 

In 1884 F. 0. Wisner and James E. Jones revived the Wisconsin 
Mirror, and in April, 1885, they bought the other paper, forming the 
Mirror-Gazette. In 1888 James E. Jones bought Wisner's interest and 
continued the publication until 1902, when he sold out to E. J. Wheeler. 
In the year previous R. L. Booher established the Dells Reporter, giving 
Kilbourn two papers. 

At the same time Mr. Jones began the publication of Illustrated 
Events, a monthly magazine of historical and literary character. This 
he changed to a weekly newspaper after six months, or, precisely, in May, 
1905. Thus Kilbourn had three papers for some time, until April, 1906, 
when J. E. Jones bought the Reporter list and business. He then asso- 
ciated with B. E. Tollaksen, in August, 1911, they bought the Mirror- 
Gazette, and have since held the field with the Weekly Events alone. 

LtiDi's Ups and Downs 

Lodi has had its decided ups and downs as a newspaper field. Its 
first essay was the Lodi Flag, a quarterly issued in July and November, 


1856, and May, 1857, by J. 0. & A. Eaton. It was a small quarto at 
that — only three columns. The Lodi Weekly Herald endured from Feb- 
ruary 25, 1863, until November 9, 1864 ; the Lodi Journal from October, 
1870, to April, 1873, and the Lodi Valley News followed a year afterward, 
and continued for thirty years as an independent republican paper, until 
the failing health of its venerable editor, Uncle Peter Richards, caused 
its discontinuance. 

The Enterprise 

The Lodi Enterjjrise. now in the field, was founded by E. B. Yule 
and G. I. Richmond, February 16, 1894. Mr. Richmond retired in 1897 
and Mr. Yvile continued to conduct the paper alone until September 8, 
1902, when C. L. Coward, the present editor and proprietor, took it over. 
The Enterprise is independent both in politics and in general. 

The Poynette Press 

The first newspaper to invade Poynette was the Reporter, whose first 
number was issued by F. A. Bro%vn, a Columbia County pioneer and 
editor of twenty-six years' standing. His venture lasted for about a 
year from June 3, 1875. Mr. Brown was afterward connected with the 
Monroe County Democrat, Sparta. The locality endured the absence of 
a local .journal until 1887, when J. E. Shirk of Cambria founded the 
Poynette Press. In 1910 he was succeeded by Charles F. Butler, present 
editor and proprietor. 

Other County Newspapers 

The Pardeeville Times was established in December, 1888, by C. H. 
Williams, and since July, 1905, has been conducted by Henry Thompson. 

The Badger Blade, of Rio, was published for some years by Frank D. 
Goodwin, now of the Columbus Democrat. Since January 1, 1913, its 
editors and proi^rietors have been W. W. and Leslie Collins, who conduct 
it under the name of Collins Brothers. 

The Cambria News, founded by J. E. Shirk and published many years, 
with J. F. Streeter as editor and proprietor, is a worthy exponent of that 


The infant in age of Columbia County newspapers is the "Wyocena 
Advance, the first number of which was issued by L. H. Doyle, on July 1, 
1910. On account of illness he was soon obliged to sell the paper to his 
son, L. Hobart Doyle, but in the following ]\Iarch J. 'SI. Bushnell, who 
had spent much time and money in founding and su.staining the enter- 
prise, assumed control. 

Defunct P.vpers 

L. H. Doyle, the founder of the Village of Doylestown, a man of fine 
character, great energy and perseverance, developed in the late '80s a 
mania for establishing newspapers in different localities where it seemed 
impossible for them to live. Among those that he established that sur- 
vive him are the Badger Blade, of Rio, and the Wyocena Advance, at 
Wyocena. Others which he established that were short-lived was the 
Portage Advertiser, the Rio Reporter, the New Era at Fall River and a 
law publication at Doylestown. 

Besides the advertising papers that have come and gone in the last 
thirty years in Portage are the Advance, published by E. W. Stevens, 
and the Herald, by Jay R. Hinckley. 

Hon. Lester Woodard. of Pardeeville, also established a newspaper 
in that village which flourished for a time, but it eventually died for lack 
of patronage. 

A few other newspaper ventures have come to life in Columbia County, 
but that life was too short to become a matter of histori". 



First School Outside the Fort — First School District Formed at 
CAMBRLi — Too Few Cubic Feet Per Scholar — School Children in 
1913 — Legal Qualification of TejVchers — Columbia County 
Teachers' Association — Columbia County Teachers' Training 
School — Private and Parochial Schools of Portage — Columbus 
Collegiate Institute — The Kilbourn Institute — Rev. B. G. Riley 


Public Schools — Pioneer Trainers of the Soul — Father ]\Lvz- 

RING Methodist Preacher — The Methodists of Fall River — Lodi 
Methodists Organize — Mr. Townsend on the Lowville Sabbath 
School — The Presbyterians at the Portage — Cambria as a 
Church Center — Presby-terian Church of Kilbourn — The Nor- 
wegian Lutherans Organize — Early Churches in the Townships. 

The school system of Columbia County owes its birth to ilajor Green, 
commandant of old Fort Winnebago. He had a number of children in 
his family, and in 1835 engaged Miss Eliza Haight as their governess. 
As the major was thoughtful and generous, he allowed the children of 
other officers to take advantage of her services, and a dozen children were 
soon grouped around her. Thus was formed the first school in Columbia 

In the spring of 1840, Rev. 8. P. Keyes became both chaplain and 
schoolmaster at the post, and taught about twenty children, some of them 
over twelve .years of age. 

First School Outside the Fort 

The first school in Portage and the county to provide instruction to 
the children of actual settlers was established in 1843. Hugh McFarlane 
partitioned otf a small room in his blacksmith shop for the purpose and 


his wife taught it. At first instruction was giveu only ou Sundays. It 
is said the first books were purchased from a fund raised by Wisconsin 
River raftsmen, whose children formed a majority of the scholars. From 
this modest beginning a private school, with a hired teacher, grew into 

First School District Formed at C.viibria 

The year after the first school for settlers was opened at Portage the 
Brothers Langdon founded what is now the Village of Cambria, and it 
was largely due to the Welshmen who soon commenced to settle in the 
village that a school district was organized in 1847. 

In that year a schoolhouse was built on land donated by Samuel 
Langdon, one of the proprietors of the town site. It was 20 by 24 feet, 
built of oak lumber from his saw^nill, and the first winter term of school 
was taught by Miss Betsy Griffin in 1848-49. Then followed in succes- 
sion S. S. Torbet, iliss Butterfield, Miss Carhart, Mr. Knight and William 
Hollinshead. Teachers then received $1.50 per week, with "board 
around, ' ' and for the winter term $20 to $25 per month. 

Too Few Cubic Feet Per Scholar 

In 1858 the 20 l)y 24 schoolhouse was accommodating (?) seventy- 
five pupils. The school authorities therefore decided to hire a larger 
room in a building owned bj^ Evan Morris. In 1861 a new schoolhouse 
was erected by Hugh Roberts at a cost of $1,600. Number of scholars 
at that time, 313. The school w^as now graded, the first teachers under 
the new system being Harvey Rust, S. A. Van IMiddlew'orth and Nellie 
Roberts, who received a yearly salary of $50, $32 and $24, respectively. 
In 1868 the schoolhouse was moved to a more favorable location on Tower 
Street and an addition was built for the primary department. 

Town of Winnebago Portage District 

The next school district after that of Cambria included the Town of 
Winnebago Portage. The town was organized and formed into a school 
district January 9, 1849. There is no record of a public school in the 
town during 1849 ; but in that year a portion of the town occupied by 
those who resided near the "old fort" was set off as School District 
No. 2, all other parts being No. 1. It is not necessary to give the limits 
of No. 2, as in January, 1850, it became Joint District No. 1, when the 


name of Winnebago Portage was changed to Fort "Winnebago, and Town 
13, Range 9, was taken from that town and organized as Port Hope. 

The year 1849 marked both the organization of the Winnebago Port- 
age School District and the first report issued by the town superintend- 
ents covering the county. It appears from their figures that the average 
wages then paid male teachers amounted to $11.75 per month; female, 

Superintendents of Schools 

In 1850 School Superintendent D. Vandercook formed four new dis- 
tricts in tl»e Town of Fort Winnebago. 

County Superintendents of Schools 

The supervision of the schools of the county was in the hands of town 
superintendents until the close of 1861, when the comity superintendents 
came in. (In 1862 the constitution was amended by making the terms 
of all county officers elected in even number .years, two yeai*s. ) 

A list of the superintendents is as follows : 

1862-67— David AV. Rosenkrans 1882-88— Z. ilerrill 

1868-69— Levi Bath 1889-96— E. C. True 

1870-71— John J. Lloyd 1897-02— E. H. Burlingame| ■ 

1872-75— Leroy J. Burlingamet 1903-09— Sylvester C. Cushman 

1876-79— Kennedy Scott 1909 —Chester W. Smith 
1880-81— Henry Neill 

School Children in 1913 

The latest figures prepared by Chester W. Smith, present county 
superintendent of schools, shows the following as the census of school chil- 
dren in Columbia County in 1913 : 

In the first column the figures show the number of children included 
in the town ; that is, in all the districts and parts of joint districts 
wholly within the town. In column two, the figures show the number 

t Office declared vacant August 22, 1874, and Kennedy Scott appointed to fill 

{ Resigned August IC, 1902, and L. J. Tucker appointed to fill vacancy. 


of school children included in all the districts of the town of which the 
schoolhouse is in the town. 

Arlington 258 232 

Caledonia 364 364 

Cambria Village 156 200 

Columbus 245 254 

Courtlaud 274 255 

De Korra 297 285 

Doylestown Village 86 105 

Fail River 115 201 

Fort Winnebago 195 228 

Fountain Prairie 339 258 

Hampden 241 245 

Kilbourn Village 306 345 

Leeds 346 304 

Lewiston 286 286 

Lodi 204 121 

Lodi Village 256 344 

Lowville 221 265 

Marcellon 295 252 

Newport 202 163 

Otsego 260 216 

Pacific 79 59 

Pardeeville 283 315 

Poynette 152 183 

Randolpli 398 393 

Randolph Village, W. W 73 73 

Rio Village 200 232 

Scott 280 266 

Springvale 279 277 

West Point 232 231 

Wyocena 241 173 

Wyocena Village 83 121 

Totals 7,246 7,246 

Legal Qualifications of Teachers 

A school board can not legally contract with, nor pay a person for 
teaching a school, unless such person is a legally qualified teacher of the 


A qualified teacher is one who has either state certificate, unexpired, 
or an unexpired county certificate for the county in which the school to 
be taught is situated. 

A teacher's certificate whose time limit has expired cannot be legally 
renewed. All renewals should be reiiuested during the life of the cer- 

To get a third grade certificate for the first time, one must have at 
least six weeks' professional training, and pass examination in reading, 
writing, spelling, orthoepy, arithmetic, grammar, school management, 
manual, agriculture, geography. United States history, including history 
of Wisconsin, constitutions, physiology, rural economics. 

A standing of at least 60 per cent is required in Columbia County to 
pass in arithmetic, grammar and geography, and not more than one 
other standing below 55 per cent is allowed for a year's certificate. 

To get a second grade certificate one must have taught at least eight 
mouths and pass examination upon American literature, physical geogra- 
phy, English composition and library work, in addition to the third grade 
branches. A second grade is good for three years. Sixty per cent is 

To get a first grade certificate one must have taught at least eight 
months and pass examination in physics, English history, English litera- 
ture, algebra, and theory and art of teaching, in addition to the second 
grade branches. It is good for five years and 70 per cent is required. 

A third grade certificate may be renewed by taking six weeks' pro- 
fessional training, during the life of the certificate, or by passing exam- 
ination in all but five of the third grade branches, providing the five 
branches to be renewed are up to 70 per cent. A third is also renewed 
without examination by passing examination in at least two second grade 
bi-anches. If the other second grade branches are earned at the next 
examination a second grade certificate is issued for three years from the 
last examination. 

A second grade certificate is renewed by taking six weeks of profes- 
sional training during the life of the certificate, or by rewriting upon all 
))ut five branches, provided such are up to 75 per cent. 

A first grade certificate is renewed by being a high school graduate 
and getting the signature of the county superintendent certifying to five 
years' successive teaching; or by taking six weeks' professional training; 
or by rewriting upon all but five of the branches, provided such stand- 
ings are up to 80 per cent. A first grade certificate may be renewed 
indefinitely after ten years of successful teaching under such certificate. 


Columbia County Teachers' Association 

The Columbia Comity Teachers' Association was organized in Octo- 
ber, 1912. The first officers were : Principal L. J. Hulse of Fall River, 
president; Miss Addie Butler of Wyoceua. vice president; Miss Caddie 
Hoefs of Leeds, secretary, and Miss Anna Nelson of Rio, treasurer. The 
members of the executive committee were Superiutendent R. L. Heindel 
of Columbus, Miss Elga M. Shearer of Columbus and County Superin- 
tendent Chester W. Smith. 

The county was divided into five sections, each one presided over by 
a chairman and secretary who arranged programs for the section meet- 

CoLUMBiA County Training School, Columbus 

ings. The constitution provides for one general meeting and two section 
meetings for each section during the year. 

The second year of the association has been very encouraging to 
the teachers and educational leaders of the county. All sections are 
working with complete programs and the meetings have been very largely 
attended. The present officers of the association are : President, George 
M. Batty of Rio ; vice president, Addie Butler of Wyocena ; secretary, 
Emma Schulze of Portage. The members of the executive committee 
are George M. Batty, Emma Schulze, A. J. Henkel. Elga 'SI. Shearer and 
Chester W. Smith. 

The Columbia County Teachers' Training School 
The question of taking advantage of the state law for a Teachers' 
Training School had been considered by the County Board of Super- 


visors previous to 1908, but in that year a resolution was carried estab- 
lishing a training school for the county in the City of Columbus. The 
City of Columbus had offered temporary quarters for the school in the 
basement of the IMethodist Church, but two years afterward the pres- 
ent fine building was erected. The first training school board elected 
were : H. E. Andrews, of Portage and A. M. Bellack of Columbus, and 
they are still serving, the count}' superintendent of schools being 
ex-oflficio secretary of the board. 

The above board elected Principal S. M. Thomas principal of the 
school and Miss Harriet Clark, assistant. Mr. Thomas is still principal 
with the following assistants: Miss Elga M. Shearer, Miss Anna D. 
Halberg and Miss Ella Heiliger. 

This training school has exerted a marked educational uplift upon 
the schools of the county. In 1909 County Superintendent S. C. Cush- 
man resigned and Principal Chester W. Smith of the Kilbouru schools 
was appointed in his place. At the present writing the following pub- 
lications have been prepared by the faculty of the training school and 
Superintendent Smith : A quarterly magazine called The Columbian, 
and the pamphlets Farm Accounts, Essentials in Education, and Some 
Rules in English Composition. 

The school has graduated ninety teachers and there are now teach- 
ing in the county sixty-two of those graduates. 

Private and Pakociiial Schools of Portage 

For fifteen or twenty years after the permanent settlement of 
Columbia County the more intelligent class of its citizens supported a 
number of private schools — academies, collegiate institutes, etc. — the 
communities being too sparse and poor to sustain public institutions 
of a high grade. As a whole, these institutions were classed as "select 

The first school of a strictly private character established in Por- 
tage was that founded in the winter of 1851-52 by William Sylvester, 
John Q. Adams, Lemuel Berry, Rev. Bradlay Phillips, C. J. Pettibone, 
and Rev. W. W. McNair. The principal was Rev. John Brittain, A. M., 
assisted by Miss Abbey 0. Briggs and Miss Margarret B. Burt. In it 
were taught, besides all the English branches, Greek, Latin and French, 
and music, drawing and painting. As the district schools were improved, 
public interest in the Classical Institute waned, and it completely 
faded away when the public schools of the city were graded and a high 
school established in 1859. 

Cotemporaneous with the Classical Institute was the select school 


of Miss Butts, which at one time had eighty pupils, but the maiden lady 
principal became Jlrs. Cornwell, a Mr. ilills took over the institution 
and, within a few years, it also was supplanted by the public system of 

There were also the parish school of St. John's Episcopal Church, 
established in November, 1855, and the female seminary founded two 
years later. Rev. H. M. Thompson presided over the former, with Miss 
A. 0. Briggs, ^lary ]\Iorehouse and Miss McFai'lane as assistants. ]\Irs. 
E. D. Emery, ;\Ir.s. E. W. Tenney and Miss Briggs were connected with 
the latter. 

The various Catholic and Lutheran churches at Portage established 
parochial schools at an early day, several of w-hieh are still in existence. 
The oldest is that identified with St. ^Mary's Parish, in charge of the 
Sisters of St. Dominick, which was founded about 1866. 

Columbus Collegi.vte Institute 

Although Columbus had a number of private schools in its early 
days, the Collegiate Institute was the most ambitious attempt to found 
a school of higher learning outside the public system of education. In 
March, 1855, the Columbus Collegiate Institute was incorporated by 
James T. Lewis. J. Q. Adams, R. W. Earll, E. P. Silsbee. Chester W. 
Dean, Joseph S. Manning, William C. Spencer, W. ^V. Drake, W. A. 
Niles, John A. Elliott and Cyrus E. Rosenkrans. The ob.jects of the 
Institute were to provide for "the education, the mental and moral 
discipline, and instruction in literature, the sciences and arts, of youth 
of both sexes." The act of incorporation also provided that "no 
political or religious opinion shall be required as a qualification of 
membership, and no student shall be required to attend worship with 
any particular denomination." On the tenth of April, 1855, the board 
of trustees met at the Congregational Church and elected Rev. Mr. 
Rosenkrans president of the institute. Soon afterward Block 15 in 
West Columbus was purchased, a small building erected thereon, and 
in the fall the school was opened, with Misses IMartha Brigham (after- 
ward Mrs. ^Villiam Ilazelton) and Mary L. Pomeroy (subsequently 
Mrs. Polly) as teachers. Upon the completion of a Union School by 
the city in 1858 and the failure to get sufficient subscriptions to con- 
tinue the private enterprise, the Columbus Collegiate Institute suspended 
and its teachers found employment in the reorganized public schools. 

The year before the founding of the Collegiate Institute, Rev. jMr. 
Rosenkrans had failed in his attempt to found a seminary in Colum- 
bus. In 1859 a private school was taught by Miss Achsah Huyck, 


afterward the wife of Rev. Mr. Phillips, and similar attempts were 
made later, but had less and less chances of succeeding, with the steady 
improvement in the facilities oifered by the public schools for which 
the citizens were taxed. 

The Kilbourn Institute 

Kilbourn City also made two bold and partially successful attempts 
to found institutions of higher education under private auspices. In 
1857, through the liberality of A. Bronson, of Prairie du Chien, an 
academy was opened at Point Bluffs, some fourteen miles north of 
Kilbourn City. It was called the Kilbourn Institute, and it was con- 
tinued with varying success until 1865. 

In 1863 a charter was secured from the Legislature incorporating 
the Kilbourn City Seminary, and when the academy at Point Bluffs 
was discontinued the incorporators of the seminary proposed that the 
school should be moved to that place and operated under its charter. 
The proposition was accepted, the building at the Bluffs was moved to 
Kilbourn City, and the Kilbourn Institute opened to the public with 
Rev. G. W. Case as principal. By the fall of 1867 140 pupils were 
enrolled. But about 1 o'clock, Sunday, January 30, 1868, while dedica- 
tory services were being held in the new Methodist Church, word was 
brought that the institute was afire. As the building was some dis- 
tance away and the fire apparatus of the village crude, by the time 
assistance arrived the flames had swept away the property of the insti- 
tute and dealt it a death blow. 

Rev. B. G. Riley at Lodi 

Previous to the formation of the Union School at Lodi, in 186-1, 
Professor B. G. Riley had been teaching a select high school in the 
village, but after that year all his hopes to compete with the public 
system were dashed to fragments. The citizens of Lodi had been thor- 
oughly aroused by the report of the state superintendent of education, 
who had compared the schools of their village most unfavorably with 
those of Kilbourn City, Wyocena, Pardeeville, Cambria, Poynette and 
Fall River — in fact, placing them at the foot of the class among all 
the communities of any account in Columbia County. Their awaken- 
ing brought their schools well to the fore, where they have remained, 
but it killed all such enterprises as the Riley private high school. The 
Riley mentioned was the Rev. B. Gilbert Riley, so noted 


as an ediK-ator and Presbyterian minister both East and West, and es- 
pecially in connection with missionary work in Wisconsin. His career 
will lie further traced in succeeding pages. 

PoYXETTE Presbyterian Academy 

As late as 1883 an academic venture was made by the Presbyterian 
Church at Poynette. In that year the Poynette Presbyterian Academy 
was founded for the education of indigent young men and women 
who were members of the church. There were two farms connected 
with the academy cultivated by tlic male students, and the girls and 
young women, besides the academic liranches, were taught practical 

Presbyterian Academy, Poynette 

matters of a domestic nature. For many years tliis institution was 
quite prosperous, but the improvement in free high schools, and the 
introduction to their courses of such branches as manual training and 
domestic science, had an undermining effect upon the Poynette Acad- 
emy, which finally dissolved in June, 1911. The property including 
a large two-story building and attractive grounds, has been transformed 
into a hotel enterprise. 

Present Htati-s of Public Schools 

In LS")!) the schools of Portage were graded and the high school 
became a part of the new system, all under a city superintendent. 


Columbus became a city in 1874, and its act of incorporation provided 
for a graded system independent of the jurisdiction of the county 
superintendent. In the following year its citizens voted for a free high 
school under the general state law. 

The schools of Columbia County are in excellent condition, those 
which are under city superintendents, as well as those under the juris- 
diction of the county superintendents, being particularly described in 
the histories of the localities in which they are situated. 

Pioneer Trainers op the Soul 

As everywhere in the world, the training of the soul preceded the 
training of the mind in Columbia County. Catholicism was the pioneer 
agent of religious instruction there, as throughout the other regions 
of the Great Lakes and the Fox and Wisconsin valleys. 

Father JIazzuchelli at the Portage 

The first Christian missionary to visit Fort Winnebago was Father 
Samuele Carlo Mazzuchelli, a Dominican. In September, 1832, he 
came on a visit to the Winnebagoes living near the portage, "the first 
missionary since the days of Allouez, Dablon and Marquette, 150 years 
before, to central Wisconsin. On this visit he held service on the 
prairie near the village of De Kaury's south of the Wisconsin River. 
A bower Avas erected for the purpose which was decorated with vines, 
wild flowers and ferns by the Indian maidens, and was largely attended 
by members of the tribe. He was unable to make himself understood 
until he fell in with Pierre Paucjuette, the famous Indian trader at 
the portage, who rendered much assistance in preaching and confes- 

"The influence of the missionary's visit to the Winnebagoes is 
noted by Mrs. Kinzie in her 'Wau-Bun.' She had offered a glass to 
one of the scjuaws, which was declined with a finger pointing at the 
crucifix hanging at her neck. 'It gave me a lesson,' she says, 'of more 
power than twenty sermons. Never before had I seen a glass refused 
from a religious motive.' " 

Under Father Mazzuchelli 's ministrations there were many converts 
to the faith, among others the wife of Pierre Pauciuette; and, prompted 
by the missionary's teaching, as well as by his wife's request, the little 
log church was erected by the giant fur trader which will stand through 
all history as the first religious edifice in Central Wisconsin. 


After leaving his mission at the portage and Fort Winnebago, 
Father Mazzuehelli established the Saint Clara Academy at Siusioawa 
Mound, Grant County, one of the most noted institutions of the kind 
in "Wisconsin. 

The First of St. M.\ry's Parish 

It was years after the building of Pauquette's church before the 
Catholics were substantially organized. Until permanent white set- 
tles commenced to make their home at the portage and near the fort, 
those who held to the faith were a varying and shifting band of Indians 
and half breeds: but in the late '40s such stalwart white Catholics 
as Thomas Christopher, Patrick Lennon, Charles Moore, M. R. Keegan, 
James Collins and John Sweeney came to stay. Several missionaries 
preached and said mass for about two years before the erection of the 
little frame church, early in 1851, upon the lot which lies at the corner 
of Conant and Adams streets. Upon the site stood a small forest of 
crosses, marking the graves of a score or more of "good Indians" who, 
having been converted by the early missionaries, had died in the faith 
and been buried in sacred ground. Among them rested the remains of 
Peter Pauquette, whose violent death near that locality in 1836, with 
the subsequent neglect and final honoring of his place of interment, 
has already been described. 

All of this narrative leads to the founding of St. Mary's Parish, a full 
history of which is given in the account of the Portage churches. 

Stirring Methodist Preacher 

The Methodists were coming into notice about the time that the 
white Catholics were founding St. Mary's Parish. Early in tlie sum- 
mer of 1847 a colony of unemployed English potters from Stalfordshire 
located in the town of Scott, under the control of a British organiza- 
tion called the Potters' Joint Stock Emigration Society. Two years 
later land was purchased, and a store and ferry established, as well as 
improvements made, at a place on the north bank of the Fox River, in 
Section 4, town of Fort Winnebago. The colonists, who numbered about 
150 persons, were substantial and honorable, although their enterprise 
as a community experiment resulted disastrously. 

Methodism had a strong following among these English emigrants 
and one of their leaders, Isaac Smith, applied at Fort Winnebago soon 
after land had been purchased in the northern part of the town, asking 
permission to hold religious services therein, I)ut on account of the 


shades of belief among the officers he received little encouragement 
from the commandant. Thereupon the use of the dining-room of the 
Franklin House was tendered by Captain Low, and Mr. Smith fre- 
quently preached therein to large and interested congregations. 

It is said that the very first sermon preached by Mr. Smith created a 
sensation. It was delivered some time in the fall of 1849. Before the 
hour arrived for the sermon the preacher had learned of the varying 
beliefs prevalent in the neighborhood, and it being his first visit he deter- 
mined to preach so that none would be hurt. A fair-sized congregation 
assembled and the services began. In the course of his remarks, which 
were of a mild, general nature, Mr. Smith stated that all denominations 
were working for one end, and that it did not matter what label anyone 
wore if his conduct was all right. Heaven was the object of all — for 
which all had embarked. Notwithstanding different roads had been 
taken, it would not matter when they reached the heavenly region by 
which route they had come. 

In illustration of this thought he said that the general course from 
England by which Wisconsin was reached was to take a steamer from 
Liverpool, come to New York and thence take boat for this state. Now 
he came from England to New Orleans, thence by the Mississippi River 
to Wisconsin, and to Columbia County overland from the West. But 
he was here all the same, and he supposed he was all right ; and it was 
just as satisfactory as though he had come by way of New York. 

While this thought was very consoling and satisfactory to some, one 
old Hardshell Baptist jumped to his feet, started from the room, and, 
slamming the door behind him, shouted, "A man that will preach such 
stuff as that ought to be locked up ! " It is said that the sermon was 
discussed from every angle by the settlers of the neighborhood for years 

In the spring of 1851 a regular Methodist society was organized at 
Portage by Rev. Mr. Mackintosh, who remained until the meeting of the 
conference of that year when he received a call to other parts. Local 
preachers afterward kept the organization together until the fall of 1852, 
when Rev. John Bean took charge as its first regular pastor. 

The Methodists of Fall River 

In the meantime the villages and towns outside Portage and Colum- 
bus had been busy in the religious field. Among the first societies to 
organize was that of the Methodists of Fall River. In 1844 Rev. Stephen 
Jones founded the pioneer church of that village and locality, the organ- 
ization being effected in the loghouse of Clark Smith. Its members were 


largely of the Smith family — Rev. E. J., Martha, Clark and Sarah — and 
Mr. and Mrs. Aaron E. Houghton. E. J. Smith was appointed leader. 
A log sehoolhouse was erected soon afterward, and the meetings trans- 
ferred to it. As the population of the village increased, the society was 
moved thither, and in 1855 a church edifice was erected. 

LoDi ]Methodists Organize 

The Town of Lodi joined the ranks of the church people in the fall of 
1845, when Rev. L. Harvey, a Methodist circuit rider, who covered the 
territory for thirty miles west of Madison, founded a class composed of 
members living near the present site of the village. It consisted of 
G. M. Bartholomew (leader), Catherine Bartholomew, il. C. Bartholo- 
mew, Mary Bartholomew, Christiana Bartholomew, Rev. Henry jMaynard, 
Catherine Maynard and Harriet E. Maynard. Services were held every 
two weeks in the log cabins of the Bartholomews and Mr. jMaynard until 
the sehoolhouse was built on Section 27 in the spring of 1846, which then 
became the regular place of worship. Says the Rev. H. Maynard in a 
local paper in 1879: "These meetings were generally attended with 
the Divine presence, spiritual and profitable, with some revivals and 
additions to the church. As others came and settled in the valley, they 
joined us in the little log sehoolhouse with one heart and one mind. 
Mrs. J. N. Lewis says the first time she attended service in this valley 
she rode on an ox-sled, with a family, to that little log house. There was 
an unusual proportion of the settlers that were church-going people; 
hence the influence of Christianity prevailed over opposing influences." 

Mr. Townsend on the Lowville Sabbath School 

The Town of Lowville took an early stand for Christianity, and it is 
still among the foremost sections of the county in this regard. For- 
tunately we still have with us A. J. Townsend, now of Wyocena, who, 
as one of the real pioneers of Lowville, tells the story of the birth of 
religion in his old home and its endurance to the present time: "The 
people were wide-awake, most abstemious, and of a decidedly Christian 
character, and their first Sabbath school was organized in early May, 
1849. All worked in harmony and the settlers came from ten to fifteen 
miles around to attend it. About this time a Baptist missionary by the 
name of William Cornell came and labored with the people, and on 
pleasant Sundays we would have as many as 35 in Sabbath school and 100 
at the church services. Peter Drake, who lived in a pole shack about 


12x16 feet, tendered his house to the good people for their Christian serv- 
ices, and in the fall of 1849 Elder Cornell organized a Baptist church. 

"That Sabbath school, if not the first in the county, was one of the 
very first, and, with the exception of one year when the men were in 
the Union army, has been in continuous operation. It is still doing Sne 
work; the grandchildren of those who organized it are the workers now." 

The Presbyterians at the Portage 

In 1849 the Presbyterians obtained a foothold at the portage. It 
was in June of that year that Rev. William Wynkoop McNair was com- 
missioned by that denomination as the Wisconsin evangelist, and in the 
following month commenced preaching in the garrison schoolroom. 
According to the records he "devoted one-third of his time the first year 
to the portage, preaching occasionally toward the close of his missionary 
year in the new village then just springing up near the Wisconsin River, 
afterward called Portage City. The remainder of his time was devoted 
to Wyocena and De Korra." At the meeting of the Presbytery of Wis- 
consin held at Cambridge, Dane Coimty, in June, 1850, a committee was 
appointed to organize a church at Fort Winnebago, ' ' if the way be clear. ' ' 
In the meantime, a colony composed of members of the Presbyterian 
Church of Fremont, Ohio, had settled near the fort. Thus the way 
became clear, and in July, 1850, the First Presbyterian Church of Fort 
Winnebago was organized, with Rev. W. W. McNair president and 

Columbus Congregational Church 

On January 26th of that year the Congregationalists of Columbus 
organized a society, with Rev. A. Montgomery as pastor and James Camp- 
bell, Mrs. Julia Campbell, Richard Stratton, 'Sirs. Polly Stratton, Emily 
Stratton, Mrs. Asenath Stratton, Mrs. Helen S. Rosenkrans, Ellen Hager- 
man, Maria Hagerman and Mrs. Hayden as members. The church 
became a member of the Madison District convention within a week from 
the date of its organization, and R. Stratton was sent as its first dele- 
gate. In 1852 the Presbyterian form of government was adopted. 
(Details of the split into separate bodies and the histories of both the 
Congregational and Presbyterian churches to be given hereafter.) 

Cambria as a Church Center 

Cambria has always been a leading center of religious, literary 
and musical activities, on account of its large Welsh element. Its first 


church was the Methodist, organized in 1850, a majority of whose pas- 
tors have been Welshmen. The Welsh Calvanistie Methodist and the 
Welsh Congregational churches were founded in 1853 and 1856, re- 

Presbyterian Church of Kilbourn 

It appears that the first organization of Christians to take root in 
Kilbourn City was founded by the Presbyterians. The church at that 
place was based upon the failure of a similar movement undertaken at 
the village of Newport, which in the early '50s promised to grow. To 
double back on the narrative — in the summer of 1855, a petition was 
drawn up by nineteen persons of Newport and Delton asking Rev. 
William W. McNair, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Fort 
Winnebago (Portage City), to organize a church at those points. At 
the time, Rev. Stewart Mitchell was stopping with Mi-. McNair and 
the two visited the new field. Soon aftenvard. Rev. H. ]\I. Robertson, 
representing the Presbyterj-, organized the church, as requested, with 
Mr. Stewart as its first pastor. 

But Newport had already commenced to decline, and great difficulty 
was experienced in obtaining even a room for divine services. Private 
houses, stores, dining rooms, taverns — any shelter was welcomed. By 
the most persistent efforts funds were collected sufficient to erect a small 
church building, dedicated August 23, 1857. But the society lost con- 
tinually by removals from Newport and the adjoining country until it 
became apparent that nothing could be done in the way of maintain- 
ing the church at that point. 

On Sunday, June 29, 1856, Rev. Mr. Mitchell preached his first 
sermon at Kilbourn City, and was holding regular services there when 
it was finally decided to abandon the Newport enterprise. The fii-st 
communion at the latter place was held in April, 1858, and Mr. Mitchell 
went there to reside in the fall. From that time the church commenced 
to grow slowly into a stable institution. 

The Norwegian Lutherans Organize 

The first Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Congregation in Colum- 
bia County was organized l)y Rev. I. W. C. Dietriekson on March 27, 
1847, and was known as Spring Prairie Congregation. It consisted of 
settlers residing in the towns of Leeds, Hampden, Otsego, Lowville, 
and later Arlington and De Korra. The first Norwegian services were 
held at the house of Sjur Reque. On the 15th of October, 1849, the 


original church was divided into three congregations — Spring Prairie 
and Bonnet Prairie, Columbia County, and Norway Grove, Dane County. 
Later, they were consolidated into one parish, Lodi Congregation, em- 
bracing the towns of Lodi, Arlington and De Korra, having been con- 
solidated with it. Reverend Dietrickson had charge of these congrega- 
tions until 1850. 

The first Norwegian Church edifice was a small log house in the Town 
of Otsego, built in the summer of 1853. In June of that year the corner- 
stone of the church in the Town of Leeds was also laid. In 1866 the 
Bonnet Prairie Congregation erected a meeting house of stone, and the 
Lodi Church erected a brick edifice in 1871. At that time there were 
280 families in the various congregations connected with the parish. 

Early Churches in the Townships 

A number of churches in the different towns were founded in the 
pioneer decade from 1845 to 1854 which are worthy of comment. 

Rev. Henry Maynard, of Lodi, preached the first sermon in the Town 
of Arlington — a good Methodist one — at the house of Clark M. Young in 
the summer of 1845. For several years he visited the town from time 
to time, but no class appears to have been formed. In 1854 Rev. T. Lewis, 
also of Lodi, preached Presbyterian doctrine at the house of A. P. Smith. 
Shortly afterward a congregation was formed in Arlington, but no church 
building erected. 

In the spring of 1847 Elder Wood, of Wyocena, a Baptist minister, 
preached the first sermon in the Town of Otsego, at the home of Stephen 
James on Section 23. Two years afterward Reverend Hanson, a Meth- 
odist clergyman, organized a class in the schoolhouse in Section 23. 

In the sjDring of 1849, the Calvanistic Methodists erected the first 
church building in the Town of Springvale, on Section 12. 

In the same year the Protestant Methodists organized the pioneer 
religious church of the Town of Marcellon at the postoffice by that name. 
The congregation disbanded in a short time, however, the greater portion 
of the members uniting with the Methodist Episcopal Church at Par- 

The first sermon preached in the Town of Newport was at the house of 
A. B, Stearns July 5, 1852, the occasion being the death of L. W. Stearns. 
The first sermon preached in the English language, where people assem- 
bled for religious purposes, was at the house of E. A. Toles, Jr., in March, 
1853, and was delivered by Elder Anderson, of the Methodist Episcopal 

The first religious services in the Town of Newport were held by the 


Norwegians who organized an Evangelical Lutheran Church in 1852, as 
alread.y stated. In April, 1857, a lot was selected on the northwest 
quarter of Section 20, and soon after completed and opened for worship. 
The entire work was accomplished by volunteer labor. Rev. H. A. Preus 
was the first pastor and served the congregation for fifteen years. 

The Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Town of Lewis- 
ton was organized l)y ilr. Preus in 1851, and a small house of worship 
was erected in 1873 on the northeast quarter of Section 20. The German 
Evangelical Lutheran Church was formed in 1853 by the Germans living 
in the west part of the town. In the same year the Methodists organized 
in the schoolhouse of District No. 2. In 1858 the German Methodist 
Episcopal Church was founded, and a house of worship erected on Sec- 
tion 26 in 1860. 

The Welsh are strong in the Town of Randolph, and for some time 
before 1854 the Welsh Calvanistic Methodist Society had held religious 
meetings in the old Lake Emily Schoolhouse and in private houses. In 
the summer of that year they built a church edifice on land donated by 
F. R. Roberts on Section 12, that town, and it was dedicated on the first 
Sabbath of December, 1854. The name of the church was declared to be 
"Engedi," a Hebrew name signifying "a fountain of pleasant waters." 
The cemetery adjoining the church was called Machpelah, after the cave 
purchased by Father Abraham. Rev. John Daniels was the first and only 
pastor. The church building was enlarged in 1870. 

Randolph Center had a number of churches in the early times, like 
the First Wesleyan Methodist, organized in 1858, and the Methodist 
Episcopal at a still earlier date. The German Catholic Church on Sec- 
tion 7 was built in 1861. 

The above is presented as a fair picture of the efforts of the various 
denominations to establish themselves throughout Columbia County, and 
their continued activities and good works are detailed in the more elab- 
orate histories of the localities which follow. 



Jefferson Davis — Edwin V. Sumner— Other Noted Officers of Port 
Winnebago — The Portage Light Guard — Company G, Second Wis- 
consin Volunteer Infantry — First Wisconsin Regiment to Enter 
the Service — Record of the Second Wisconsin — Company D, 
Fourth Regiment — General Bailey and Major Pierce — General 
Bailey and the Red River Dam — Companies A and B, Seventh 
Regiment — ^Company H, Eleventh Regiment — Company D, Nine- 
teenth Regiment — Companies C, G and H, Twenty-third Regi- 
ment — General and Judge J. J. Guppey — Record of the Twenty- 
third — Companies A and E, Twenty-xinth Regiment — Company 
K, Thirty-second Regiment — Last Infantry Companies — Cavalry 
AND Artillery — The Drafts in the County — Guppey Guard of 
Portage — Competitive Drills — Captains and Armories — Company 
F, Third Regiment, W. N. G.— Company F in Spanish-American 
War — The New Armory. 

The History of Fort Winnebago and the careers of many officers of 
the post who attained fame both in the Mexican and Civil wars, give the 
military affairs of Columbia County a national importance. 

Jefferson Davis 

The part taken by the garrison and its commanders in the Black 
Hawk war has been described, Lieut. Jefferson Davis first coming into 
notice as an active officer in the field. In the pursuit of Black Hawk, 
Edwin V. Sumner also served as a lieutenant of dragoons. Both were 
young officers at Fort Winnebago. 

Davis, as the world knows, was one of the most distinguished figures 
in the Mexican war and at the head of the Confederacy in the Civil war. 


Edwin V. Sumner 

Sumner was a Massachusetts man. In 1819, at the age of twenty- 
three he joined the United States army as second lieutenant; became 
first lieutenant in 1823 and as such served in the Black Hawk war; was 
promoted to a captaincy of dragoons in 1833 and to major in 1846. In 
April, 1847, he led the famous cavalry charge at Cerro Gordo, in which 
he was wounded. For his bravery at that engagement he was brevetted 
lieutenant-colonel. He distinguished himself in all the other battles of 
the Mexican war in which he participated. At Molino del Key he com- 
manded the entire cavalry force of the United States army, holding five 
thousand Mexican lancers in check, for which he was brevetted colonel. 
Subse(iuently he was made lieutenant-colonel of dragoons and military 
governor of New ^Mexico, and in 1857 led a successful expedition against 
the Cheyennes, whom he defeated at Solomon 's Fork of the Kansas River. 
Joining the Union army in the Civil war, by May, 1862, he had reached 
the rank of brevet major-general. He commanded the left wing at the 
siege of Yorktowu; was in all the battles of the Peninsula and twice 
wounded ; was again wounded at Antietam, and at Fredericksburg, in 
December, 1862, commanded the right grand division of the army. He 
died at Syracuse, N. Y., March 21, 1863. 

Other Noted Officers of Fort Winnebago 

A younger comrade of General Sumner's at Fort Winnebago was 
Lieut. William Steele, of New York, who also honored himself in the 
Mexican war and on frontier duty against the Indians. He joined the 
Confederacy, and surv'ived the war. 

j\Iaj. David E. Twiggs, the first commandant and builder of the fort, 
distinguished himself at Monterey, in the Mexican war, but was dis- 
missed from the Federal service in February, 1861, for surrendering 
United States stores in Texas before that state had seceded from the 
Union. For a time he was a Confederate general. 

One of Twiggs' lieutenants was William S. Harney, who afterwards 
so distinguished himself in campaigns against hostile Indians in Florida, 
and was finally brevetted a brigadier-general for long and faithful 

Lieut. Randolph B. Jlarcy, who was on duty at Fort Winnebago in 
1837-40, saw active service in both the Mexican and Civil wars. He was 
the father-in-law of George B. McClellan, afterward commander of the 
Union army, and under the latter he served as ehief-of-staff, attaining 
the rank of brevet brigadier-general. 


Lieut. Nathan B. Rossell joined the Fifth Infantry at Fort Winne- 
bago in 1839. He was one of the youngest of the officers, and that was his 
fii-st post. He was severely wounded at Moliuo del Rey, being brevetted 
for his distinguished services there and presented with a gold sword by 
his native state of New Jersey. When the Civil war broke out he was 
in command at Fort Albuquerque, New Mexico, and was killed in action 
at Gaines Mill, while leading the Third Infantry. 

Many others might be mentioned whose military careers virtually 
commenced at old Fort Winnebago. Its evacuation in 1845 was made 
necessai-y by the call of troops to the Mexican frontier. While hostili- 
ties were in progress, permanent settlers had not come into the county 
in such numbers as to call for any levy upon them. The home military 
record of Columbia County therefore commences with the outbreak of 
the War of the Rebellion. 

The Portage Light Guard 

Several years before it broke, it became evident to thoughtful citizens 
that the Civil war was bound to come, and in the late '50s military 
organizations were springing up throughout the North. The Poi'tage 
Light Guard, the first of its kind in Columbia County, was organized 
in 1859, but did not enter actively into militaiy discipline and drill until 
early in 1861. By the time a re-organization had been effected, hostilities 
had commenced, and the President's call issued for seventy-five thou- 
sand volunteers. 

Company G, Second Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry 

The Light Guard promptly offered its services, and was assigned to 
the Second Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers, as Company G. It was 
mustered into the Union service at Camp Randall on June 11, 1861, with 
the following officers : Capt. John Mansfield, First Lieut. A. S. Hill, Sec- 
ond Lieut. S. K. Vaughan, Sergeants W. S. M. Abbott, G. W. Marsh, 
Charles D. Ettinger and John G. Kent. There were eight corporals, two 
musicians and eighty privates; twenty-five more enlisted at Fort Tilling- 
hast, Va., in the following October, and still later (from the fall of 1861 
to the winter of 1864) nineteen more joined the ranks of Company G. 

First Wisconsin Regiment to Enter the Service 

The various companies of the Second Wisconsin were organized at 
Camp Randall early in Jlay, 1861, and on the 16th of the month, with 


the other conimauds, Company G re-enlisted for three years, ' ' or during 
the war." As stated, it was mustered into the service June 11, the Sec- 
ond Wisconsin Regiment being the first organization to be thus received 
into the United States service from that state. On the 20th of the same 
month the regiment left for Washington, and was the first body of three- 
years' men to appear at the national capital. 

Record of the Second AVisconsin 

As a part of that command, Companj^ G participated in the move- 
ment on Manassas, where during a terrific assault on one of the enemy's 
batteries the regiment sustained a heavy loss. In March of the next 
year, after it had become consolidated with the famous Iron Brigade 
under Gen. Rufus King, the Second was in the advance in the con- 
tinued operations against Manassas. On the 28th of August, the brigade 
was assigned a position in the advance line, and proceeded slowly on the 
left of the army to Groveton, via Gainesville. While moving by the 
flank in the march toward Centerville, the Second Regiment was attacked 
by a battery posted on a wooded eminence to the left. It promptly ad- 
vanced and soon encountered the infantry. While awaiting the rest of 
the brigade, the regiment checked for nearly twenty minutes the onset 
of Stonewall Jackson's entire division, under a murderous fire of mus- 
ketry. When the brigade arrived, the battle was continued until 9 
o'clock in the evening, \vhen the enemy was repulsed, and the entire army 
passed on the road to Centerville. 

The Second took a prominent part at the storming of Turner's Pass, 
South Mountain, and at the battles of Antietam and Fredericksburg. It 
was in the advance at Gettysburg, where it suffered a loss of thirty per 
cent of the rank and file. Its total loss at that date amounted to 652 killed, 
wounded and missing. 

In December, 1863, forty members of the Second re-enlisted and on 
January 28, 1864, arrived at Madison, received their furloughs and dis- 
persed to their homes. During their absence, the remainder of the 
Second, with the non-veterans of the brigade, participated in a recon- 
naissance to the Rapidan River. About the 1st of March, the veterans 
returned to the front, and their regiment was soon after assigned to the 
First Brigade, Fourth Division, Fifth Army Corps. 

The Iron Brigade then participated in the battles of the Wilderness 
and Spottsylvania Court House. After the latter engagement the Sec- 
ond Regiment, having been reduced to less than one hundred men present 
for duty and having lost both field officers, was detailed as provost guard 
to the Fourth Division, Fifth Army Corps, thus severing its connection 


with the Iron Brigade. In that capacity the remnant of the Second ar- 
rived at Bottom's Bridge, on the Chickahominy, on June 11, where they 
remained until the expiration of their term of service. Those absent on 
detached duty were recalled, and on June 11 the little band of battle- 
scarred veterans took its departure for home, arriving at Madison on 
the 18th. 

Those who had joined the regiment at various times after its original 
organization were formed into an independent battalion of two compa- 
nies under Capt. D. B. Dailey and assigned to provost duty. They par- 
ticipated in the battle before Petersburg, and in November were trans- 
ferred as Companies G and H to the Sixth Wisconsin, with which they 
were mustered out. 

Company G suffered its severest loss at Gainesville (Second Bull 
Run). It went into the engagement with 54 men, and lost in killed and 
wounded 43, 13 being killed outright. 

Company D, Fourth Regiment 

Company D, Fourth Regiment, was recruited at Kilbourn City, and 
went into camp at Racine June 6, 1861, with the following commissioned 
officers : Joseph Bailey, captain ; Walter S. Payn, first lieutenant ; Edwin 
R. Herren, second lieutenant. On the 15th of July they left for Balti- 
more, remained in Maryland acquiring discipline and drill until Novem- 
ber, and after various unimportant movements joined the Army of the 
Gulf at Ship Island, Miss., on March 12, 1862. The hardships of the 
voyage engendered much disease, and many of the soldiers found a 
grave in the sands of the Gulf of Mexico. The company was present 
at the bombardment and capture of the forts in the Southwest Pass by 
Porter and Farragut, and in May embarked in captured transports on 
an expedition which extended to Vicksburg. It participated in the 
famous thirty-days' siege of that stronghold of the Confederacy, as well 
as in all the operations centering in and around Baton Rouge. The 
Fourth Regiment led the advance in driving the enemy within his works 
at Port Hudson, where it suffered fearful losses, as well in the assaults 
against the Confederate forces within. In July the regiment returned 
to Baton Rouge and in the following month was completely equipped as 
cavalry. Subsequently, until May, 1866, the Fourth did excellent serv- 
ice against guerilla bands of Confederates and marauding Indians, its 
operations extending to Texas and the international boundary. 


General Bailey and Major Pierce 
But Company D achieved its greatest fame because of the splendid 
services rendered to the Union cause in the Southwest by Joseph Bailey, 
who went out as its captain and in May, lS64r, had reached the rank of 
brigadier-general by promotion. 

The company, during its existence, had as captain besides General 
Bailey, E. R. Herron, Guy C. Pierce and A. C. Ketchum. "Major Pierce 
was one of General Bailey's most trusted staff officers. Being clear of 
brain, brave and quick to perceive, he possessed an iron nerve and was 
many times detailed for perilous duty. He was four times wounded. 
Chosen as the recipient of a congressional medal of honor for brave and 
meritorious conduct at the siege of Mobile, Major Pierce has also numer- 
ous letters and relics, and has recorded many historical incidents which 
future generations will value as without price." 

General Bailey and the Red River Dam 

The foregoing was written by Chester W. Smith, county superin- 
tendent of schools, to whom we are also indebted for the following 
graphic sketch of "General Joseph Bailey and the Red River Dam:" 

Gen. Joseph Bailey 

"Many citizens of Wisconsin have heard of the Red River Dam, but 
not all of them know that its originator and builder was a Wisconsin 
soldier and received his practical education in the lumber camps of 
northern Wisconsin. Fewer yet realize that this man of rugged courage, 
adaptable knowledge, and unlimited energy saved to the Union cause an 
entire fleet of giui boats and thereby cut short by two years the greatest 
civil war of history. 


"When Beauregard's rebel guns woke the North to united action 
against secession, Mr. Joseph Bailey wag a respected citizen of Kilbourn 
City, Columbia County, Wisconsin. He entered the service on May 18th, 
1861, as captain of Company D, Fourth Wisconsin Volunteers. He was a 
man of commanding stature, great natural ability as a leader and man- 
ager of men. In July, 1863, he was made Lieutenant Colonel of his 
regiment, and in the spring of 1864 he was serving under General Frank- 
lin's staff in Louisiana, as chief engineer. 

"In April of this year Rear Admiral Porter's fleet of gun boats had 
passed up the Red River as far as Alexandria, some 200 miles above 
Baton Rouge. These gun boats were intended to work in connection with 
the land forces of the Union army to complete the subjugation of the 
South in southern territory. 

"But the campaign was not proving a success and .just as the army 
was preparing to retreat, the water in the Red river suddenly fell, leaving 
the whole Union fleet stranded above the rapids near Alexandria. 

"With a hostile people all about them, the enemy's army watching 
for an opportunity for attack, supplies cut off and provisions short. Ad- 
miral Porter saw only the utter loss of his fleet and certain necessity of 
being compelled to destroy the whole scjuadron to prevent their falling 
into the hands of the enemy. Expert civil engineers of the army were 
consulted with no relief. They declared that it would take a year to 
construct a dam across the river to float the boats. Looking at the prob- 
lem from the standpoint of their book-knowledge and lack of experience, 
no doubt they were right. 

"But the man of practical knowledge, the man for the hour, was there 
in the person of Lieut. Col. Joseph Bailey. He was there with confidence 
in himself and in his plan, and he had the nerve to offer his idea to the 
Admiral. But the great naval officer scouted the idea as wild and im- 
possible. All of his best engineers, educated at West Point, ridiculed 
the plan, so that nothing was done for twenty days. 

"But the man of experience and courage, the man who had made 
whole fleets of logs float down shallow streams in Northern Wisconsin 
knew what he was talking about. He persisted and finally Admiral 
Porter agreed to ask permission of General Banks of the army to allow 
Colonel Bailey to try the experiment. Banks gave his consent only as a 
last resort. 

"Now the plan that Colonel Bailey proposed was not new as to the 
fact that a dam in a river will raise the water above it. . The value of 
Bailey's knowledge was that it offered a way to build that dam, and 
free those big, helpless boats, in ten days, instead of a year's time : 

"Once the project was decided upon, gloom changed to exultation. 


General Banks gave orders to supply Colonel Bailey with every possible 
need he might require. He asked and obtained 3.000 men, 300 teams and 
wagons, all the axes and tools that could be found, iron bolts and bricks 
from the numerous sugar mills along the river, stones from newly made 
quarries, planks from old or new buildings. There were two or three 
regiments of J\laine men, who were sent into the near-by woods to cut 
down trees, which were brought to the river with all their branches on. 

' ' The rapids over which the water must be raised to allow the boats 
to pass, were about a mile in length, and the river was about 600 to 800 
feet wide where the dam was to be constructed. To build a dam reaching 
all the way across the river was impossible, nor was this a part of 
Bailey's plan. He began by building wing, or bracket, dams about 300 
feet long, reaching from each bank of the river, thus leaving a middle 
chute about 66 feet wide for the boats to go through. 

"The dams were constructed by floating on barges the logs, trees, 
stone, old iron from the mills, and whatever could be used to stop the cur- 
rent and back the water up the channel. At the end of these mngs four 
of the largest coal barges, 170 feet long, were loaded with stone and sunk. 
Log cribs were made, floated to the desired place, filled with stone and 
sunk, after which long iron bolts were driven through them into the 
hard bed of the river. This was necessary as the current at this point 
had a velocity of ten miles an hour. 

■ ' The men worked almost day and night and at the end of the eighth 
day the water was high enough to start the boats. Eveiw one marveled, 
and the tired men grew strong with hope and coming victory. But the 
next morning the tremendous force of the increased volume of water 
swung one of the big barges from its anchorage and again the water fell 
to its former stage. 

' ' Shouts changed as suddenly to doubts and disappointed hopes. Men 
who had opposed the idea now came forward with their 'I-told-you-so's' 
and the civil engineers demanded that the effort be abandoned before it 
was too late to burn the boats and escape being captured by the enemy. 

"Then was shown the mighty significance of having a Man present 
who knew himself and his job. Men recognize a leader. For the past 
eight days these men had been working, many of them, up to their waists 
in water and in the hot sun. They now saw their labors tossed aside as 
of no avail. 

"But Colonel Bailey and his corps of assistants never showed a mo- 
ment's hesitating doubt. Orders were immediately issued to begin the 
construction of other wing dams and those men redoubled their efforts 
for they had faith in the man who had faith in himself. 

"In three davs the water rose to a sufficient lieight to allow everv boat 


of the fleet safe passage over the rapids and down the river to freedom. 
The Southern army was as astonished as it was disappointed, while the 
glad acclaims of those who held dear the Union cause, were heard for 
many days. 

"Colonel Bailey was the hero of the hour and received promotion to 
the position of brigadier general. Rear Admiral Porter and his staff had 
ordered made a beautiful sword with sheath and hilt of gold, and also a 
solid silver punch bowl, standing two feet high, which were presented to 
General Bailey. These magnificent gifts were made by the Tiffany Com- 
pany of New York and were beautifully engraved with appropriate 
inscriptions. They are now in the Wisconsin State Historical Museum at 

"After being honorably mustered out in 1865, Cxen. Bailey returned 
to Kilbourn City, his home. In 1866 he moved to Vernon County, Mo., 
and the same year he was elected sheriff of the county. The next year 
he was shot by assassins whom he had antagonized in doing his duty by 
enforcing the law. 

"The name of Gen. Joseph Bailey should live in the annals of his 
country along with the many other brave soldiers who gave their all in 
defence of home and liberty. ' ' 

Companies A and B, Seventh Regiment 

Companies A and B, Seventh Regiment, were from Columbia County, 
the former from Lodi and the latter from Portage, known as the Colum- 
bia County Cadets. Company A was commanded by Capt. George Bill, 
with Hollon Richardson as first, and Richard Lindsey as second lieuten- 
ant; Company B, by Capt. James H. Huntington, with John Walton as 
fii'st, and S. L. Baehelder as second lieutenant. The Seventh Regiment 
rendezvoused at Camp Randall in August, 1861, and in October joined 
General King's command known as the Iron Brigade. The principal 
losses to A and B occurred at the two Bull Runs, South Mountain, the 
Wilderness, Gettysburg and Fredericksburg. 

Company D, Tenth Regiment 

Company D, Tenth Wisconsin Infantry, was formed in August, 1861, 
and was known as the Fremont Rifles. James L. Coffin was captain, 
Thomas L. Kennan first lieutenant, and George W. Marsh second lieu- 
tenant. In October, 1861, the Tenth was mustered into service at Camp 
Hutton, Milwaukee, and served in Kentucky, Tennessee and in Sher- 


man's movement toward Atlanta. It was at Champliu Hills, Chicka- 
mauga, Dallas, Kenesaw Mountain and Peach Tree Creek. 

Company H, Eleventh Regiment 

Company H, Eleventh Regiment, was organized in September, 1861, 
and accepted at Camp Randall for service October 18th, with Alexander 
Christie as captain, Eli H. Mix as first lieutenant and Isaac J. Wright 
as second lieutenant. It saw active service in Arkansas, Louisiana, 
Texas, Mississippi and Alabama. The Second Brigade to which it was 
attached took part in the battle of Champion Hills, in the siege of Vicks- 
burg and the Red River expedition, and the Eleventh was finally mus- 
tered out of the service at Mobile, September 4, 1865. The regiment 
suffered a death loss of 348; 262 of whom died of disease. Captain 
Christie resigned in January, 1864, and was succeeded bv Lieut. James 

Company D, Nineteenth Regiment 

Company D, Nineteenth Regiment, was recruited in December, 1861, 
with Samuel K. Vaughan as captain, "William H. Spain as first lieutenant, 
and Edward O. Emerson as second lieutenant. The conunand was mus- 
tered into service April 30, 1862, and left for the Potomac on the 2d of 
June. The boys were engaged for the first time at Newberg, N. C, on 
the 1st of February, 1864. In June they accompanied the advance of 
Grant's army in its assault upon Petersburg. After enjoying a veteran 
furlough, in October they proceeded to the trenches before Richmond. 
The regiment participated in the battle of Fair Oaks, and in April of the 
following year was a part of the Union army which marched into Rich- 
mond and planted the regimental colors on the city hall. On the 9th of 
August, 1865, the regiment was mustered out of the service in the capital 
of the Confederacy. 

Companies C, G and H, Twenty-third Regiment 

Companies C, G and H, Twenty-third Regiment, were all organized 
in Columbia County. C was raised in Portage, with Edgar F. Hill as 
captain; G was from Columbus, James E. Hazelton captain, and H from 
Lodi, with E. Howard Irwin captain. J. J. Guppey, promoted from the 
Tenth, was colonel of the Twenty-third during its entire service. He 
was wounded and taken prisoner at Carrion Crow Bayou, La., Novem- 


ber 3, 1863, and exchanged in December, 1864. Captain Hill, of Com- 
pany C, became lieutenant-colonel of the regiment in August, 1863 

General and Judge J. J. Guppey 

Joshua J. Guppey, of Portage, colonel of the Twenty-third for nearly 
three years, was one of the most distinguished citizens of Columbia 
County. He was a native of New Hampshire, and while a student at 
Dartmouth College was captain of its military company, showing even 
in his early youth one of the strong tendencies of his life. Admitted to 
the bar of the Granite State in 1846, when twenty-six years of age, he 
located at Columbus, Columbia County, in the same year. In the follow- 
ing year he was appointed colonel of the county militia, and held the 
office of .judge of probate and county judge from the fall of 1849 to 
January 1, 1858 ; was superintendent of the public schools of Portage 
city from 1858 to 1861, and on September 13th of the last named year 
was commissioned lieutenant-colonel of the Tenth Wisconsin Volunteer 
Infantry. He was in active service as such until July 25, 1862, when he 
was promoted to colonel of the Twenty-third, and held that position with 
high honor to the end of the war. He was wounded and taken prisoner 
at the engagement at Carrion Crow Bayou, La., and in March, 1865, was 
brevetted brigadier-general "for gallant and meritorious services during 
the war. ' ' 

In April, 1865, while absent in the service General Guppey was re- 
elected county judge for four years from January 1, 1866, and held that 
office by successive elections until 1882. In 1866 he was again elected 
superintendent of city schools, serving thus until 1873. Whether in mili- 
tary or civil activities, Judge Guppey acquited himself as a man of 
unusual ability and conscientiousness. 

Record of the Twenty-third 

The Twenty-third Regiment early joined the army destined for the 
reduction of Vicksburg, its first engagement of any note occurring at Port 
Hindman on the Arkansas River, which surrendered largely as the re- 
sult of the fierce assault delivered by the Thirty-third. The regiment re- 
ceived many congratulations for its conduct from the division and brigade 
commanders. The Yazoo swamps laid many of the soldiers low, but the 
health of the men improving, active operations were resumed. They 
fought on the battlefield at Port Gibson, Miss., and were the first to enter 
the village. The Twenty-third won fame at the battles of Champion Hills 
and Black River Bridge, at the latter engagement capturing the Sixtieth 


Tennessee with its colors. It was at the front in the general assault on 
Vieksburg, at the close of the siege the regiment numbering but 150 men 
ready for duty. Later, at Carrion Crow Bayou, the regiment was at- 
tacked by a greatly supei-ior force of the enemy, but, with reinforcements, 
regained the ground at first lost, although at great sacrifice. The regi- 
ment then engaged in the Red River expedition, the battle of Sabine 
Cross Roads and the investment of Mobile, being mustered out of the 
service July 4, 1865. 

Companies A .\nd E. Twenty-ninth Regiment 

Companies A and E. Twenty-ninth regiment, were composed almost 
entirely of citizens from Columbia County. Bradford Hancock, who 
became colonel of the regiment in April. 1865, was the first captain of 
Company A. and was succeeded by 0. F. Mattice and 0. D. Ray. the 
latter being promoted from the ranks. 

Company E was recruited along the border between Columbia and 
Dodge counties, and its captains were Hezekiah Dunham, Darius J. Wells 
and Joshua A. Stark. 

The Twenty-ninth was mustered into service at Camp Randall Sep- 
tember 27, 1862. and its fine record is identified with the operations of 
the Army of the Southwest. Its first battle was at Port Gibson and, 
although the command was made up of raw recruits, the brigade com- 
mander commended its conduct highly, and at the battle of Champion 
Hills, fought soon afterward, it is credited with having made one of the 
most brilliant charges of the entire war, capturing over three hundred 
prisoners, a stand of colors and a brass battery. The regiment con- 
tinued its good record at the siege of Vieksburg, the siege of Jackson, the 
battle of Sabine Cross Roads, the work connected with the construction 
of the famous Red River Dam under the superintendency of Colonel 
Bailey, and the concluding battle before ilobile. 

Company K, Thirty-second Regiment 

Company K, Thirty-second Regiment, was recruited in August, 1862, 
and mustered into the service at Camp Bragg, Oshkosh, September 25th 
following, with John E. Grant as captain. In November the regiment 
joined General Sherman's command at Memphis. Tenn., and accompa- 
nied his army later in its famous march to the sea, and from Savannah 
north through the Carolinas to Richmond. It reached the Confederate 
capital May 9, 1865, on the 24th of that month it took part in the grand 
review at Washington, and was mustered out on the 12th of June. 


Last Infantry Companies 

A portion of Company E, Forty-second Regiment, was raised in Co- 
lumbia County during the fall of 1864, and Company D, Forty-sixth 
Regiment, in which there were a few Columbia County boys, was recruited 
in the first two months of 1865. 

Cavalry and Artillery 

Company E, Second Wisconsin Cavalry, was known as the Columbia 
County Cavalry. It was recruited in the fall of 1861, was accepted for 
service at various dates between December, 1861, and March, 1862, and 
its captain was George N. Richmond. The regiment left Camp Wash- 
burn, Milwaukee, March 2-1, 1862, and its operations were mostly around 
Memphis and Vicksburg. 

Company F, First Heavy Artillery, organized at Portage in Septem- 
ber, 1864, with Erastus Cook as captain. The company left Camp Ran- 
dall on the 3d of October, 1864, and was assigned to duty in the defenses 
of Washington. It remained at that point until June 26, 1865, when it 
was mustered out of service. It was the only company of troops going 
from Columbia County which returned without loss of life. 

The Drafts in the County 

In proportion to population the number of citizens in Columbia 
County who volunteered to serve the Union cause on the field of battle 
was as large as any county in the state. But despite appeals from the 
local newspapers to avert such a course, which was considered by some 
as a reflection upon patriotism, and the strenuous efforts of the recruit- 
ing agents, the "draft" came to Columbia County as it did to other sec- 
tions of the North. In June, 1863, Provost Marshal S. J. M. Putnam of 
Janesville, under orders, appointed the following enrolling officers to 
register the names of those liable to military duty in Columbia County : 
Perry G. Stroud, Newport; E. F. Lewis, Lewiston; J. B. Wood, Fort 
Winnebago; Hiram Albee, Marcellon ; David H. Langdon, Scott; John M. 
Bay, Randolph; Jeremiah Williams, Courtland; John H. Rowlands, 
Springvale ; Henry Converse, Wyocena ; Wells M. Butler, Portage and 
Pacific ; J. C. Mohr, Caledonia ; Jacob Cosad, De Korra ; Jesse F. Hand, 
Lowville; E. W. McNett, Otsego; E. T. Kerney, Fountain Prairie; G. W. 
Campbell, Columbus; William K. Custer, Hampden; Ammond Chris- 
tophers, Leeds; A. G. Dunning, Arlington; Thomas Yule, Lodi; Cyrus 
Hill, West Point. 


Toward the latter part of July, the enrolling oflScers having completed 
their work, it was found that the number of persons in Columbia county 
liable to military duty was 2,045 of the first class and 1,609 of the sec- 
ond. Under the president's call for 300,000 men in 1863, the quota to 
be filled in the county was about two hundred and seventy. The total 
number of volunteers up to August 20th of that year was 1,602, or 260 
in excess of the quotas under the volunteer calls of 1861-62. As announced 
by the provost marshal who superintended the enumeration of Columbia 
County, the number to be drafted in its several towns was 353. The 
excess of 260 under the 1861-62 calls being deducted, there remained but 
ninety-three to be supplied under the call of January, 1863. 

And so the balancing of debits (quotas due) and credits (volunteers) 
went on for twenty months or more before the draft actually was ' ' pulled 
off." In July, 1864, the president issued another call for 500,000 men, 
and after much figuring among those interested in the prospective draw- 
iug it was discovered that Columbia county's quota to be furnished was 
806. The 21st of September was an interesting day to those whose names 
went into the box at Janesville. The quota of Portage was eighty-six, 
and prominent among those who drew prizes were E. C. Maine, 
D. G. Muir, H. 0. Lewis, V. Helmann, William Armstrong, J. P. Mc- 
Gregor, P. H. Ellsworth, W. W. Corning, L. Breese, John T. Clark, 
James Collins, Carl Haertel, A. J. Turner, Alva Stewart and Israel 
Holmes. Most of those mentioned belonged to the Draft Insurance Club, 
and were entitled to draw $380 each from a citizens' fund to pay sub- 
stitutes. Supplementary' drafts soon followed in a few of the towns. 

Another call for 300,000 vohinteera having been made on the 19th 
of December, 1864, it was ascertained that Columbia County's quota 
would amount to 423 men. The quota of Portage by wards was fifty- 
one. There was some lively volunteering about this time, under the 
patriotic influence of nearly five hundred dollars bounty, $200 wages for 
a year, with board and clothes and very little prospect for a fight. 

A draft took place in the towns of Marcellon and Lewistou on the 
27th of Pebruary, 1865, but by the time the drawing was announced 
nearly every man in those towTis liable to be drafted had enlisted. 

GuppEY Guard op Portage 

The name of General and Judge J. J. Guppey was given to the 
famous militia of Portage which, since 1883, has been known as Company 
F, Third Regiment, Wisconsin National Guard. Prior to that time the 
Guppey Guard had acquired a state-wide reputation as a finely drilled 


On the 6th of July, 1877, a meeting was held at the court house 
in Portage for the purpose of organizing a military company. A petition 
was then and there signed by sixty-five young men of legal military age 
and presented to General Guppey, requesting him to appoint someone 
to organize a company as provided for under the laws of the state. 
A. J. Turner was selected for the undertaking, and at the first meeting 
of the company A. H. Russell, who had served several years in the Civil 
war, was elected captain, Homer S. Goss first lieutenant, and George S. 
Race, second lieutenant. Soon afterward the company received from 
the state sixty Springfield rifles, with belts and cartridge boxes, and at 
once commenced regular drills. The citizens of Portage subscribed money 
for the uniforms of gray, known as West Point cadet cloth, with gold 
lace and dark facings. 

Competitive Drills 

The first competitive drill took place at Reedsburg, Wis., July 4, 
1879, the rivals of the Guppeys being the Mauston Light Guard, then 
one of the best companies in the state. Honors were so evenly divided 
that the $100 prize was split between the two organizations. At the 
September competition of the same year, held at Portage, the local com- 
pany was second to the ilauston Light Guard, but in October it took 
first prize. 

In January, 1880, the Guppey Guard participated in the inaugural 
ceremonies at Madison, and had the satisfaction of reading the following 
in a city paper: "The Guppey Guard, of Portage, Capt. J. D. Womer, 
'went in on its muscle,' and showed the crowd something grand. Cheer 
after cheer went up as the company went through with some of its fancy 
and most difficult movements. The other companies indulged in the 
usual parade movements only. Portage City is assured that her company 
'took the palm' in the drill business in our city, and the captain of 
this company may well be proud of his men. ' ' 

The first executive officers of the Guppey Guard were as follows r 
J. J. Guppey, president; A. J. Turner, vice president; John T. Yule^ 
secretary ; H. S. Goss, treasurer. 

Captains and Armories 

Charles C. Dow followed Captain Womer in command of the com- 
pany, and after him came J. C. Britt. Just before the latter 's commission 
arrived the guard was called to Eau Claire to quell the strikers in the 
sawmills in that city. Capt. V. E. Brewer followed Captain Britt and 


held the command until the fall of 1888. During the incumbency of the 
former, the Guppey Guard joined with the Masons in erecting the armory 
and Masonic Hall building on DeWitt Street. It was completed in 1883. 
During the later '90s the ilasons acquired the title to the entire property, 
renting the lower floor to the postal authorities when the new armory 
of Company F was completed and thrown open in the upper story of 
the present city hall. This was in 1901. 

Company F, Third Regiment, W. N. G. 

After being assigned to various commands in the Wisconsin National 
Guard, the Portage company became at the organization of the regiment 
in 1883, Company F, First Battalion, Third Infantry, as it is today. 

George C. Carnegie, formerly first lieutenant, succeeded Captain 
Brewer in 1888, and commanded the company until his promotion to 
the head of the Third Battalion of his regiment in 1895. Major Carnegie 
died two years later, while holding a temporary position as officer in the 
guard of the Nashville exposition. 

H. S. Rockwood, who had been promoted to the captaincy of Company 
F upon Captain Carnegie's promotion, resigned in the summer of 1897, 
being succeeded by Frank T. Lee. Captain Lee held the office until 
January, 1899, when the Third Regiment was mustered out of the United 
States service, after the Spanish- American war. 

Company F in Spanish-Americ.\n War 

As a unit of the Third, Company F volunteered for service in the 
war. It left Portage on April 28, 1898, and as part of the command, 
embarked at Charleston, S. C, for Porto Rico. Both the Second and the 
Third regiments participated in the capture of Ponce, three months after 
leaving home, taking an active part in the taking of Coamo. The troops 
fought in various skirmishes up to the signing of the protocol of peace 
in August. Several members of Company F were wounded, and Corporal 
Frank B. Loomis and Private James Gamble subsequently died in a 
Coamo hospital. At the muster-out at Portage, in January, Frank ^T. 
Lee was captain, William 0. Kelra, first lieutenant, and H. S. Rockwood, 
second lieutenant. In addition, there were eighteen officers, two 
musicians, an artificer and a wagoner, and seventy-three privates; three 
members of the company had been honorably discharged, and there had 
been two deaths of typhoid fever, as noted. 


The New Akmory 

Since the Spanish-American war Company F has been well supported 
and its ranks maintained at the legal standard — sixty-five in times of 
peace. Its armory in the new city hall building is commodious and 
strictly metropolitan, with equipment to match. Guy F. Godell is captain, 
Samuel B. Ernsperger, first lieutenant, and Frank B. Ernsperger, second 

The armory drill hall occupies a space of 72x73 feet on the Wisconsin 
street side of the second and third floors, and is reached by two wide 
maple stairways from the first floor. Like all the other floors in the 
building, the floor is of matched maple. The wainscoting and other 
woodwork throughout are of southern pine in natural finish. A wide 
balcony runs around the hall on three sides, and on a level with the 
hall floor at the Clark Street side are reception, dressing and smoking 
rooms. Above these, and level with the gallery, are the officers ' quarters. 

Columbia county is proud of Company F which, like other units of 
the Wisconsin National Guard, has always upheld the fine traditions of 
United States soldiers, whether members of the regular army or the 
volunteer service. 



First White Woman at the Portage — The Settlement Grows — The 
Canal Booms Things — Platting the Town of Fort Winnebago — 
The Guppey Plat — Incorporation as a City — Increase op Popula- 
tion — The Present City — Chicago & Wisconsin Valley Railroad 
— The Fine City Hall — Free Public Library of Portage (Mrs. J. 
E. Jones) — The City Water Works — Electric Light and Tower — 
Commission Form of Government Adopted — Protection Against 
Fire — Wisconsin River Bridges — Final Dissolution of $119,000 — 
Nomenclature of Portage Streets (A. J. Turner) — Experiments 
IN Banking — City Bank of Portage— First Nation.\l Bank — 
Portage Loan and Trust Company — The Eulberg Brewing Com- 
pany — Epstein Brothers' Brewery — The Portage Hosiery Com- 
pany — Ll. Breese. 

When you weed out the inhabitants of old Fort Winnebago, and 
the traders, and the carriers, and the interpreters at the portage, who 
by no sti-etch of prose license could be classed as "permanent," the first 
real householder of the settlement which developed into Portage was 
Henry Carpenter. Long after, when he had become a resident of 
Waushara County, Wisconsin, he wrote : "I landed in Portage in July, 
1837 — my wife and I, and a man and his wife by the name of Hart. 
Henry Merrell was keeping a sutler's store when I came, in a building 
close by the fort. He afterward built and moved to the west side of 
Fox River. 

First White Woman at the Portage 

' ' The first white woman who came to the portage and permanently 
settled there was Sarah Carpenter, my wife; the first white child born 
at the portage was George Carpenter, my son.* Silas Walsworth kept a 

*Mr. Carpenter is now, and has been for years, a resident of Milwaukee. 



small grocery on the Wisconsin River near the place where I built ray 
hotel. Gideon Low (an army officer, then living at the fort) was building 
the Franklin House when I came, and afterward moved into it." 

Neither Carpenter nor Low came to Portage to settle there, although 
they finally became residents. The same may be said of Henry Merrell, 
who built a store on the west side of Fox River opposite the fort (and 
therefore within the present city limits) about the time that Carpenter 
erected the original United States Hotel. Silas Walsworth, whom Car- 
penter found living at the portage in July, 1837, was a new arrival. He 
afterward married the widow of Pierre Pauquette, and in 1846, at the 
organization of Columbia County, was chosen county judge, although he 
failed to qualify. He was a typical trader — here one day, and there, 
the next. 

The Settlement Grows 

Andrew Dunn, Hugh McFarlane, Clark Whitney, J. Garrison, Archi- 
bald Barker, Jonathan Cole and others came in 1838 — the first three to 
stay, as the future was to develop. In 1839-40 immigration set in with 
some strength, and within the next fifteen years the ' ' entrepot of Central 
Wisconsin" really stood up to the name by which its people were wont 
to call it. 

Before the arrival of Mr. Carpenter the Portage Canal had been 
chartered, and in 1838 digging actually commenced at a point on the 
Fox River now intersected by the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul line. 
Its course was along Bronson Avenue, about two rods north, entering 
the Wisconsin River near Mac Street. After about ten thousand dollars 
had been spent on that route work ceased. 

The Canal Booms Things 

But enough had been done to start a boom in the lowlands. "When 
it was finally decided that there should be a canal, before the survey 
had been made, great excitement prevailed among the people owning and 
occupying the little cluster of houses along Wisconsin Street. It was 
generally believed that the two rivers would be connected through Bron- 
son Avenue, inasmuch as the two streams approached nearest together 
at this point, and a demand for property along the avenue was necessarily 
soon manifest. But, as experience has long since taught, there is no 
telling where canals and railroads are going until they get there; the 
Portage Canal was no exception to the rule. Bronson Avenue property 
owners were seriously disappointed when the fiat went forth that the 


canal, with a perplexing elbow in it, should be located some distance 
northwest of the original survey. This announcement created confusion, 
and real estate values were sadly affected. Immigrants were pouring in, 
but very few of them chose to locate upon ' the flat ; ' they pref eiTed high 

"And then it was that the first settlements were made along the 
brow of the semi-circular hill, then so clearly discernable, in what are 
now the Second and Third Wards. The population of this new settle- 
ment was composed almost entirel.v of former residents of Fremont, Ohio. 
A very brisk rivalry- soon sprang up between the old residents of Lower 
town and the new comers of Upper town; and when the latter became 
influential enough to secure the removal of the postoffice to the north 
side of the canal, the name Gougeville was immediatel.v substituted for 
Upper town by the chagrined denizens of the Flat. The energj^ and 
industry of all classes, however, soon united in the common cause of 
progi'ess. The two settlements became one, and local differences of a 
character to retard development were thereafter seldom indulged in. ' ' 

Platting the Town of Fort Winnebago 

In the meantime progress had been made in the platting of a large 
portion of the present site of Portage. The canal company had come 
into possession of the old Grignon claim, had turned it over to its 
former owners, Sheldon Thompson, of Buffalo, and DeGamo Jones, of 
Detroit, who, in turn, shuffled off the tract upon Benjamin L. Webb and 
Alvin Bronson, in September, 1842. 

In November, 1849, a plat of the town of Fort Winnebago, covering 
the Grignon claim, was made by Webb & Brouson, with John ^luUet as 
surveyor. The boundary lines of that plat may be easily traced upon 
any of the modern maps of the city of Portage. The northwestern 
boundary-, designated as "the line of public lands," as distinguishing 
them from the possessions of the ^Menominee Indians, begins at a point 
on the Fox River opposite old Fort Winnebago, and runs southwesterly 
to the corner of Adams and Conant streets ; thence almost directly south 
across the canal to the Wisconsin River, thence southeasterly along the 
bank of the river to a point half a block east of Ontario Street, thence 
northwesterly on a direct line to the Fox River, and down that stream to 
the place of beginning. 

The Guppey Plat 

In June, 1852, J. J. Guppey, as county judge, entered various lands 
in Section 5, in trust for settlers ; it was surveyed in the following month 


and has siuce been known as the Guppey Plat. The United States Land 
Office recognized the validity of the entry of lands only on even sections, 
as Congress had given to the state the odd sections as public lands. 
Richard F. Veeder acquired interests in both Sections 5 and 8, and further 
complicated the wrangle between the state and settlers who had bought 
land in these parts of the town. It is impossible to go into the legal 
details regarding the troubles of property owners, especially Mr. Veeder, 
but suffice it to say that after nearly a decade of state legislation and 
legal procedure such titles were made secure. Numerous additions have 
since been made, the first after Portage became a city being that of 
Dunn, Haskell & Tenney. In 1856 Ketchum's second addition was laid 

Incorporation as a City 

On the 10th of March, 1854, Governor Barstow approved the legis- 
lative act to incorporate the city of Portage, which was to go into effect 
on the first Tuesday in April. Its territory was described as "all that 
portion of the west fractional half of Section 4 which lies south and 
west of the Fox River ; Sections 5 and 6 ; all that portion of Sections 7 
and 8 which lies north of the Wisconsin River; the west fractional half 
of Section 9, and claim No. 21, known as the claim of A. Grignon, in 
Township 12, north. Range 9 east." The three wards of the city were 
thus defined; First — all that part lying south and east of the canal; 
Second — lying north of the canal and east of DeWitt Street and the 
road leading from the same to the north line of Town 12 ; Third — lying 
north of the canal and west of DeWitt Street. An amendment to the 
original charter passed March 30th created the Fourth Ward, and on 
the first Tuesday in April, the following officers were elected through 
the casting of 366 votes: William Sylvester, mayor; John Lodge, clerk; 
D. Vandercook, treasurer ; Henry Carpenter, assessor ; Alexander Christie, 
marshal, and W. S. M. Abbott, school superintendent. 

In 1868 the boundaries of the city were extended, the Fifth Ward 
was created, and the limits of the boundaries changed ; and these processes 
have gone on, from time to time. 

Increase of Population 

In 1850 the population of Portage City, as officially ascertained, was 
2,062, it was still the great route between the East, the lakes and the 
Mississippi valley. During the summer and fall of that year it was 


estimated that ten thousand persons with their teams and stock, crossed 
the Wisconsin River in the neighborhood of the portage. 

By 1856 the population had increased to 4,364. Three years later 
the assessed value of its real and personal property had reached $588,169. 
Its appearance and recorded prosperity well fitted it to assume the honors 
and responsibilities of a municipality. 

The Present City 

The present Portage of 6,000 people extends over two miles along 
the eastern side of the Wisconsin River, its northeastern districts extend- 
ing to the Fox. The business district lies along the lower lands ou both 
sides of the canal, its substantial and attractive residences, churches and 
schools covering the higher and more broken area of the old "Upper 
town, " and far beyond to the west. 

The streets are well paved and lighted, electricity for both illumination 
and power being supplied by Southern Wisconsin Power Company, whose 
plant is located at Kilbourn City. Both police and fire protection are 
adequate. The city is imder the commission form of government. 

Chicago and Wisconsin Valley Street Railways Company and 
Chicago and Wisconsin Valley Railroad Company 

Portage has a street ear system which is a part of the contemplated 
interurban system for Central Wisconsin. The Chicago & Wisconsin 
Valley Railroad Company was organized in September, 1909, and the 
object of the organization is to build an interurban electric railway 
from Janesville to Merrill, from Madison to Fond du Lac, from Madison 
to Prairie du Lac, all in Wisconsin. Work on these lines is now in 
progress, with headquarters of the company at Portage and Madison. 
The officers of the company are J. P. Huntoon, Chicago, president ; J. E. 
Jones, Portage, vice president and general manager; Thos. W. Potts, 
Chicago, secretary; A. S. Wehrheim, treasurer. 

The Fine City Hall 

Portage takes a great and commendable pride in its fine city hall, 
completed in the early part of 1902. It is a three story structure, with 
a body of red brick and trimmings of darker sandstone. There are 
entrances on two streets, that on Wisconsin being the chief, the municipal 
offices, the business men's room and historic portrait gallery, and Free 



Public Library occupying the first floor and the armory of Company F, 
the second and third stories. 

The city hall was completed under the administration of Mayor J. E. 
Jones, the building committee consisting of himself, J. C. Britt (then 
captain of Company F), J. L. Hardie, F. E. Burbach, M. J. Downey 
(now mayor), and Guy F. Goodell. The first meeting in the new council 
chamber was held February 11, 1902, and at the first session in the fol- 
lowing month the building committee submitted its final report turning 
the municipal home over to the city. The total cost of the building had 
been $18,917.53, which is borne equally by the city and Company F. 
As the city spent, in addition, nearly three thousand dollars in fixtures 


Wisconsin Street Front of City Hall, Port 

and furniture, it paid some $11, 616 for its accommodations. Company F 
meets its share of the cost of erection in ten annual payments, assigning 
to the city its receipts from the State of Wisconsin. Thus both parties 
to the transaction are happy. 

Free Public Library of Portage 
By Mrs. J. E. Jones- 

The story of the organization and growth of the free circulating 
library of Portage, from its inception to its pre.seut important place in 
the educational and material worth of the city, is one which reflects 
great credit upon the women of Portage whose optimism, energy and 


zeal gave to the community the lienefits of this most admirable insti- 

On the 29th of May, 1900, a eommunieation from Mrs. Catharine 
Krech (since deceased) was read before the Do Nothing Society (a lit- 
erary club) in which she ui-ged the ladies to take some step toward 
establishing a free circulating library in the city, as it had been the oft- 
expressed wish of her deceased daughter, Miss Catharine, that some 
such move be made and that her library be bestowed upon such an 
institution when assured. As Mrs. and Miss Krech had both been mem- 
bers of the Do Nothings, the request seemed like a personal appeal to 
each individual member of the society, and with Miss Catharine's 
small but admirably selected library as a forcible incentive, it was 
unanimously decided to act. It being the last meeting of the year, a 
committee was appointed to formulate some feasible plan of procedure, 
to report at the first meeting in the fall, and the society adjourned for 
the summer. 

At the first meeting of the next society year, October 2; 1900, it 
was decided to call a public meeting at the city hall on October 27th, for 
the purpose of organizing a free public library association, to which all 
the ladies of the citj^ were invited and all of the women's clubs were 
asked to send representatives. The day arrived, the ladies assembled, 
an organization was perfected and the following officers were chosen: 
President, Mrs. J. E. Jones; first vice president, Mrs. J. E. O'Keefe; 
second vice president, Mrs. R. 0. Loomis; secretary, Mrs. Maurice Good- 
man; treasurer, Mrs. AY. G. Clough ; directors, Jlesdames P. J. Bark- 
man, E. G. Boynton, F. Burbach, Jas. Collins, C. L. Dering, F. T. 
Gorton. C. G. Jaeger, J. E. McDonald, A. J. Turner and R. B. Went- 
wortli and Misses Margaret Hanley and Emma Voertmann. 

Though the project seemed to be well launched, the ladies were now 
confronted with the problem of suitable rooms for their piirpose, a 
problem which was more serious than the casual reader might imagine, 
as although they had a treasurer they had no treasury and no positive 
assurance of ever having one. But nothing dismayed, the ladies pro- 
ceeded to map out a plan of work for collecting a library, determined 
to do their present duty and willing to let tomorrow take care of itself, 
secure in the firm belief that the way would be prepared for them, as 
such united effort in so noble a cause must perforce be crowned with 
.success. And how soon were their hopes and supreme faith to be re- 
warded ! for before the close of the meeting a message was received from 
Mr. E. W. Moran offering two pleasant rooms above his store for the 
use of a library gratis for so long a time as they should be needed. This 
offer was accepted with thanks and the ladies took up their work with 


a will. Everything necessary for the furnishing of the rooms was 
quickly offered and before the adjournment of their first meeting pleas- 
ant library rooms were assured, containing all the requirements of an 
up-to-date library excepting, alas, the books. 

Provided with rooms, now began the real work of accumulating the 
books. The members of the association did not feel that their interest 
and responsibility ended with the naming of the officers but remained 
faithful and zealous participants in every project undertaken for the 
good of the cause. The first money — about five hundred and sixty dol- 
lars — was raised by a canvass among the women of the city, for this was 
a woman 's enterprise and only the women were asked to give. Offerings 
of books were also solicited and freely given, and on the 21st of January, 
1901, the library was opened to the public. And surely it is a record to 
be proud of! In less than three months from the organization of the 
association the ladies had filled up a neat little library for the use of the 
public with nothing to build upon but the promise of Miss Krech 's books 
"when the library shall be an assured success." And it was not until 
several months later that these were turned over to the association. 

The library has steadily grown by the purchase of new books (the 
money being raised in various ways by the women) and by valuable 
gifts of single volumes and collections, until it numbered about two 
thousand volumes, when at the first annual meeting of the association, 
on October 26, 1901, it was formally offered to the city and accepted ; 
and on December 1, 1901, the board of directors appointed by Mayor 
J. B. Jones assumed control, the association disbanding. 

The mayor's appointees were Mrs. W. G. Clough, Mrs. P. J. Bark- 
man, Mrs. J. E. O'Keefe, Mrs. Fred Burbach, Mrs. R. B. Wentworth 
and Hon. A. J. Turner, all of whom had been active in the work of the 
association. The city superintendent of schools. Dr. A. C. Kellogg, be- 
came an ex officio member of the board. Mrs. Clough was appointed 
librarian and the vacancy on the board, caused by her resignation, was 
filled by the appointment of Mr. J. E. Wells. 

On January 10, 1902, the library was moved to its present location 
in the new City Hall Armory Building, where it has continued to in- 
crease in size and usefulness till at the present time it comprises 10,000 
volumes and is accounted Portage's most valuable asset. 

By the will of the late Mrs. Catharine Krech, the library was made 
her beneficiary in the amount of $5,000, the income from which shall 
be available each .year for the purchase of new books. 

Previous to the removal of the library to its present location the 
duties of librarian had been performed by different members of the 
board of directors, but since that time Mrs. Clough has occupied the 


position — for which she is admirably qualified — with great credit to 
herself and to the complete satisfaction of the patrons of the library. 
Miss Gwendolyn Kennan is the assistant librarian, ha\'ing succeeded 
Miss Mary Porter who resigned the position about two years ago, after 
a faithful service covering a period of eight years. 

The present board of directors are: Dr. A. C. Kellogg, president; 
Mrs. J. E. O'Keefe. vice president: Mrs. R. B. Wentworth, secretary; 
Mrs. P. J. Barkman, Mrs. J. H. Rogers, Miss Harriet Coleman and City 
Superintendent of Schools W. G. Clough, ex officio member; City Com- 
mis.sioner F. F. Goss is also an ex officio member of the board. 

The City Waterworks 

In October, 1901, a board of water commissioners was created com- 
prising the mayor, one alderman and three citizens, the last named to 
be elected by the common council. The purpose of this move was to 
take over the waterworks plant then owned by the Portage City Water 
Company, which had been originally built in 1887. The municipal 
plant now consists of two sets of Worthington pumps, which furnish 
consumers with over half a million gallons of water daily through 
seventeen miles of mains. The source of supply are three wells located 
a mile west of the center of the city. The water is filtered through two 
of the wells, pumped into a third, and thence distributed. Including 
power house and equipment mains and fire hydrants, the works are 
valued at about .$100,000. 

Electric Light, and Power 

The electric light and power furnished the citizens and the indus- 
tries of the municipality are supplied by a private concern — the Portage 
Electric Light and Power Company, of which G. E. York is president, 
and R. E. York, secretary' and general manager. A sub-station of the 
Southern Wisconsin Power Company, whose great plant is at Kilbourn 
City, was erected at Portage in the fall of 1909. Through the former 
which is housed in a large brick building near the Chicago, Milwaukee 
& St. Paul Railroad tracks, is distributed 1,000 horse-power, about half 
of which is converted into electric lighting. 

Commission Form of Government Adopted 

For the past tw-o years the city has been under the commission form 
of government, and there is still a division of sentiment as to whether 
it is an improvement on the old system ; but this is no place to advance 
opinions. Pure history is a narrative. Therefore, to continue the story 
of Portage. 


The commission form in all Wisconsin cities is adopted under the 
provisions of Chapter XL, Section 925, Revised' Statutes of 1911. 
Under it any city of the second, third and fourth classes may adopt the 
city commission plan upon the petition of electors representing twenty- 
five per cent of the votes cast for mayoralty candidates at the last pre- 
ceding municipal election. Any law in force, the prevailing territorial 
limits of the city and vested property rights are not to be changed with 
the form of government. The ma.yor's term is fixed at six years, and 
two and four-year terms are provided for the other two commis- 
sioners, at the inauguration of the commission form of government. No 
commissioner is eligible who holds a license for the sale of liquor. Fur- 
ther, the enabling act creates the general departments of public finance 
and accounts, public health, safety and sanitation, streets and jDublic 
improvements, parks, recreation grounds and public property, and pub- 
lic charities and corrections, and authorizes the common council to elect 
a city clerk, corporation counsel, comptroller, treasurer, superintendent 
of streets and assessor. The commission form may be abandoned by 
popular vote at any time after it has been in force six years. 

On the 16th of April, 1912, occurred the first meeting of the com- 
missioners, viz: Moses J. Downey, mayor, head of the department of 
streets and public improvements; H. L. Bellinghausen, two-years' term, 
department of public health, safetj^ and sanitation ; Fred P. Goss, former 
city clerk, four-j^ears' term, department of public finance and account. 
At this session the rules of the former common council were declared 
to be those of the new, and under the general state law nothing in the 
city had been changed — neither legal nor property rights were inter- 
fered with ; so the Portage government glided almost imperceptibly from 
the old to the new. 

In May, W. B. Washburn, the present incumbent, was elected clerk. 
Besides the officials already named, J. J. O'Keefe, is treasurer; John 
Diehl, assessor; W. 0. Kelm, corporation counsel; Dr. A. J. Batty, phy- 
sician; C. E. Corning, engineer; and Nathan Warren, superintendent 
of streets. The new government is operated at an expense of over 
$92,000. The assessed valuation of the city in December, 1913, was 
over $4,000,000. 

Protection Against Fire 

The burning of the old United States Hotel in 1851 gave the people 
of Portage their first forcible warning that the city should no longer 
be without fire protection. Other warnings came within the next decade, 
but the city did not organize a "department" until the 6th of June, 


1863. A few men and boys with buckets comprised about all the pro- 
tection against fire for the first year, but in the spring of 1864, the citi- 
zens, under the vigorous push of Chief James Collins and Treasurer 
John Graham, purchased a hand engine — a second-hand one which had 
been used in Milwaukee. Oregon Company No. 1 was then organized, 
with John Curry as foreman. This company proved itself of substan- 
tial use and did not disband until the late '70s. 

The first hook and ladder company was organized in November, 1871, 
with William Hensel as foreman. Mr. Hensel continued in that posi- 
tion for many years. In 1874, the city purchased a Champion Fire 
Extinguisher for $2,200, Excelsior Engine Company No. 2, having pre- 
viously been organized to man it, with Alexander Thompson as fore- 
man. The company flourished until the Silsby steamer, a first-class 
engine in those days, was bought. It cost $5,500. What was known as 
Silsby Steamer Company No. 3 was organized in October, 1877, the 
first officers being: V. E. Brewer, foreman; D. M. Neill, first assistant 
and treasurer ; William Edwards, second assistant ; John Lewis, secretary. 

The present department consists of about thirty volunteers, with a 
chief, assistant, engineer of the Silsby steamer and two teamsters, the 
five men last mentioned being paid for their services. The city has over 
100 fire hydrants and therefore feels that property owners are well 

The house now occupied by the department was formerly the city 
hall erectetl in 1886, and was remodeled and turned over to tlie fire 
laddies when the home of the municipality and the militia was com- 
pleted in 1902. 

Wisconsin River Bridges 

The ferries and bridges over the Wisconsin River at the portage 
have always been important features in the growth of the village, city 
and neighboring country. Peter Pauquette, the two husbands of his 
widow — Antoine Pervonsal and Silas Walsworth — and William Arm- 
strong, all operated and owned the ferry. In March, 1851, the Portage 
Bridge Company was incorporated for the purpose of bridging the 
stream, Init was obliged to relinquish its charter, as work was not com- 
menced within two years of birth. In 1855, another company was 
formed, which likewise failed to accomplish anything tangilile. In 
November, 1856, the bridge question was placed in the hands of the 
authorities of the City of Portage and the Town of Caledonia, and in 
October, 1857, it was completed by a Philadelphia firm. Hall & Leet. 
Shortly before it was finished the old Wisconsin River Bridge was thus 



described: "It is a massive piece of work. The large oak piles which 
compose the outwork of the piers are driven through the sand and stand 
fast in a solid clay foundation. The inner spaces are filled with rock, 
2,000 cubic yards of which have been used for the purpose. This 
insures a foundation against which floods and rafts may beat with 
impunity. Over 200,000 feet of lumber will be used in the framework. 
The whole length of the bridge will be 650 feet, with a draw of 130 feet. ' ' 
The entire cost of the structure was $41,000. 

Great excitement prevailed over the selection of a bridge commis- 
sioner, and in May, 1S60, C. R. Gallett was chosen on the sixty-ninth 

Second Old AVisconsin River Bridge 

ballot for the position by the city council, John Graham, the pioneer 
druggist, being mayor at the time. Mr. Gallett was succeeded by Charles 
Schenck, George Wall, John Bean and Patrick Sheehan. By this time 
the expenses had exceeded the receipts of tolls by .$20,000, and the bridge 
bonds were at a scandalous discount. Finally, in February, 1868, the 
city sold the bridge under the hammer to W. W. Corning for .$2,000. 
But the sale was revoked by the common council, and in the spring 
made a contract with Chapin & Wells, of Chicago, to remove the old 
structure for -$1,000, place a Howe truss bridge upon the same piers for 
$18,000, and allow the city the market value for any old material which 
might be used. The new bridge was completed in August, 1868. 


Final Dissolution of $119,000 

The entire cost of maintaining both the old and the second bridges, 
from the commencement of work in March, 1857, to ilareh, 1871, was 

In October, 1869, the bridge was boarded up and covered, and at 
various times during the succeeding thirty-five years sections of it were 
unroofed by high winds, or carried away liy floods. In its thirty-sixth 
year it met its final dissolution. 

On the night of the 8th of August, 1905, a terrific wind storm swept 
down the Wisconsin Valley from the west, and the bridge was blown 
completely off its piers and the wreckage carried down stream for about 
300 yards. This was the end of the longest and strongest wagon bridge 
in the state, and in the following year it was replaced by the fine steel 
structure, which really seems to be able to successfully resist the fiercest 
onslaught of wind or flood. 


The streets of Portage are especially suggestive of local history, and 
he who walks them may be reminded of many interesting facts if he 
keep in mind the information furnished liy the late A. J. Turner, as 
follows : 

"When names for streets were first considered the U. S. troops 
were at the fort and the army officers were much in evidence in 
suggesting names for them which will explain why the names of so 
many who had been prominent as army officers appear as names of 

"The streets to which were given the names Washington, Adams, 
Jefferson, Monroe, Jackson, Van Buren and Pierce were so named, of 
course, in honor of presidents of the United States bearing those names. 

"Wisconsin Street was so named because of its proximity to the 
Wisconsin River, and Fox Street was for a similar reason given its name 
because of its adjacency to the Fox River. 

Mac, Dunn and Armstrong streets had those names applied to them 
in honor of Hugh McFarlane, Andrew Dunn and William Armstrong, 
the proprietors of McFarlane, Dunn and Armstrong addition to the City 
of Portage. Dunn Street received its name in honor of Andrew Dunn, 
second mayor of Portage and one of the proprietors of Dunn, Haskell 
& Tenney's Addition to Portage. 

"Cass Street received its name in honor of Gen. Lewis Cass, the dis- 
tinguished soldier and statesman, who had been at one time governor 


of Wisconsin when it was a part of Micliigan territory, and had crossed 
the portage before the fort was built. 

"Hamilton Street was so christened in honor of Alexander Hamilton, 
famed as a soldier and statesman. 

"DeWitt Street was named for W. K. DeWitt, an attorney of the 
city; the name was never entirely acceptable to older residents of the 
city, and there was some effort to change it in subsequent years, but it 
was thought best to leave it, as the name had become well settled in the 
public mind and little care was given to the why's and wherefore's of 
the name. 

"Clark Street — who this street was named for is involved in some 
luicertainty, but probably it was in honor of Maj. Nathan Clark, who 
had died at Fort Winnebago, while in command of the post, and whose 
daughter, Charlotte Ouisconsin, had married Lieutenant, afterward. Gen. 
H. P. VanCleve. Some have thought the street was named for Clark 
Whitney, one of the early settlers of the town, who was engineer in 
charge of the construction of the canal, and who built one of the first 
frame houses in Portage, if not the very first, a little distance from the 
Emder House. j\Ir. Whitney owned the tract of land bordering on the 
canal through which the street ran. 

"Lock Street was so named because its terminus was near the Wis- 
consin river lock. 

' ' Canal Street was so named, of course, in consequence of its adjacency 
to the canal. 

"Cook Street was given its name in honor of one of the Cook families 
who resided in the eastern part of the town. There were two of them 
Lawrence and James, brothers, and Erastus, Hiram and Moses, also 
brothers and to each one of these has been ascribed the honor of having 
the street named for him. 

[Since the above appeared in the Daily Register, Mrs. G. W. Morrison, 
who has resided in the city since early girlhood and who is an authority 
on early times, informs us that it was always the understanding that the 
street was named for Capt. Erastus Cook, who resided at the corner of 
Cook and Hamilton streets, and such is probably the fact.] 

"Main Street was given its name because it was at the time near the 
business center of the city. 

"Conant Street was so named, presumably, in honor of the famous 
Roger Conant, but this is not definitely known. 

"Pleasant Street received its name purely on sentimental grounds, as 
it was pleasantly laid. 

"Carroll Street had that name applied to it in honor of Charles 


Carroll of Carrollton, famed as a statesman and one of the signers of the 
Declaration of Independence. 

■ ' Howard Street was named for Gen. Benjamin Howai'd of the U. S. 
army: but whether it was for Benjamin or Benj. C. Howard, also of the 
U. S. army and eminent as a statesman I am unable to say. 

'"Prospect Avenue was originally a part of Howard Street, but not 
being connected for its entire length, that portion of it lying west of 
Wisconsin Street, and leading on to Prospect Hill was given by an ordi- 
nance, the distinctive and most appropriate name of 'Prospect Avenue.' 

"Franklin Street received its name of course, in honor, of Benj. 
Franklin, the distinguished philosopher and statesman. 

'"'Marion Street was named in honor of the South Carolina 'Swamp 
Fox,' Gen. Francis j\Iarion, the soldier who distinguished himself so 
highly in the south during the Re\ olutionai-y war. 

"Emmet Street had its name in honor of Robt. Emmet the mar- 
tyred Irish patriot and orator. 

"Burns Street was given its name as a mark of the high esteem in 
which 'Bobby Burns' was held by a large Scotch element which had 
flocked to the vicinity. 

"Bronson Avenue was so christened in honor of Hon. Alvin Bronson, 
one of the proprietors of Webb & Bronson 's plat. 

"Center Avenue received that name because it marked very closely 
the center of the 'portage' between the Wisconsin and Fox rivers. 

"Mullett Street had its name bestowed upon it in honor of the civil 
engineer and surveyor John ilullett, who did much of the Government 
survey of the state. 

"Dodge Street was given its name in honor of (_!eii. Henry Dodge, 
distinguished as a soldier and statesman, and who was one of Wisconsin 's 
territorial governors, and first U. S. senator. 

' ' Pauquette Street was so named in honor of Pierre Pauquette, famous 
as an Indian scout and trader, and who had been in the emploj' of John 
Jacob x\stor at his trading post in this city. 

"Brady Street was christened in honor of the one legged hero, Gen. 
Hugh Brady, who gained high honoi-s during the War of 1812. 

"Brooke Street was so called in memory of Gen. Geo. Jlercer 
Brooke, famous as a gallant soldier in the war with ilexico, and a detach- 
ment of whose regiment, the Fifth Infantry, was stationed at Fort Win- 
nebago, although I think Gen. Brooke himself was not on duty here. 

"Superior,- IMichigan. Huron, Erie, and Ontario, the great lakes, 
were deemed as appropriate names for streets. 

"Water Street was given that name because of its closi' proximit.y 
to the Wisconsin River: nuieh of it now being in the river. 


"Thompson, Jones, Griffith and McPhersou streets were respectively 
named for Sheldon Thompson, DeGamo Jones, Robert MePherson and 
G. P. Griffith, who were part owners of the Grignon tract which, later on, 
became the Webb and Bronson plat. 

' ' Whitney Street was so called in honor of Daniel Whitney who had 
two trading posts here, one at either end of the 'portage,' before Fort 
Winnebago was erected, and who did the first lumbering on the Wiscon- 
sin river. 

"Morgan Street had its name in honor of Gen. Daniel Morgan, illus- 
trious as a soldier during the Revolutionary War. 

"Warren Street had that distinction applied to it in honor of the 
gallant soldier. Gen. Jos. Warren, who fell at Bunker Hill at the begin- 
ning of the Revolutionary War. 

"Wolfe Street was given its name in honor of the renowned British 
general of that name. 

"Dorr Street was named in honor of Thomas W. Dorr, famous as a 
leader of what is known as the 'Dorr Rebellion,' in which an attempt 
was made in a revolutionary manner, to give the people of Rhode Island 
a constitution in place of a colonial charter under which the state govern- 
ment was being administered. 

"Williams Street, on Webb and Bronson 's, was given its name by 
Mr. Webb, one of the makers of Webb and Bronson 's plat, in honor of 
his friends and townsman of Detroit, Gen. Alpheus Starkey Williams, 
who had gained honorable distinction in the Mexican war. 

"The names of several streets of the city having been duplicated in 
making addition to the city, the city council (November 5, 1883, April 
2, 1884, July 2, 1901), changed some of them, so that one named for a 
street should appear. By these ordinances — 

"The street originally platted as Lake Street in Prospect Hill addi- 
tion, was changed by the council, Nov. 5, 1883, to Park Street, but it 
continues to appear on some recent maps as Lake Street. It was con- 
templated at one time to establish a park on Prospect Hill and this sug- 
gested 'Park' as the name of a street running to it. 'Lake' had no 

"Williams Street, on Prospect Hill, became Sanborn Street, in honor 
of Mayor Sanborn, and Williams Street in the Northern Addition, be- 
came Reid Street (in honor of Wm. Reid) ; Monroe Street in Ketehum's 
addition, became Barden Street, in honor of Judge Barden, and names 
were given to certain roads in unplatted portions of the city which need 
no statement of the reasons for the names assigned to them as Caledonia, 
Baraboo and Fairfield other than the fact that the roads led to those 


"Collins Street, on the Northern boundary of the city, was named in 
honor of our townsman, James Collins. 

' ' Collipp Avenue was so named, by ordinance of the city, in compli- 
ment of Conrad Collipp, a prominent German resident' of the city and 
who w-as one of the first, if not the tirst, German to establish a home in 
the city. Mr. Collipp had dedicated a street running to his residence 
from the bridge across the narrows of Silver Lake with the condition 
that it should be known as ' Collipp Avenue,' a fact which was not known 
when the ordinance was passed declaring it to be a part of Silver Lake 
Street, and the street running north of the Lake from Collipp 's residence 
to the 'Old Pinery Road' was named 'Collipp Avenue.' The error should 
be corrected and the names 'Silver Lake Street' and 'Collipp Avenue' 
should be transposed. 

"Silver Lake Street was so named because of its proximity to Silver 

"LaMoure Street was given its name for Cooper LaMoure, an early 
resident of the city who had a hotel on the ' Old Pinery Road, ' which was 
a popular hostelry in its day. 

"Hffirtel Street had its name bestowed upon it in honor of Carl 
Hsrtel, one of Portage's early residents and most progressive citizens, 
and who erected the block bearing his name. 

"Hettinger Street was named in honor of John Hettinger who was 
first to establish a brewery in the city. 

"Schneider Street was given its name in honor of Carl Schneider, 
who dedicated to the city the land for the street. 

"Slifer Street received its name in honor of Samuel Slifer, a worthy 
German who early became a resident of the city north of Silver Lake. 

"Averbeck Street was given its name in compliment of Hon. Maxi- 
millian Averbeck, prominent in early public affairs, who lived on the hill 
north of the railroad track. 

"Wells Street was given that name when, by ordinance, a new street 
was laid leading from the Wells place on Silver Lake to Pierce Street. 

"Wood Street was named for Portage's famous merchant, Nathan 
H. Wood. The road leads from Caledonia Street to 'St. Lukes,' which 
was owned by Mr. Wood and which he regarded as of a great value. 

"Schulze Street was so named, by ordinance, in compliment to Ben- 
jamin Schulze, who owned the farm bearing his name north of the rail- 
road track in the Second ward. 

"Volk Street, which was for a time regarded as an extension of Cass 
Street north of the railroad track, was, by ordinance, given its name in 
honor of a well known German of that name living near the banks of 
Silver Lake. 


"Carletou Street was so named iu houoi- of Carletou G. McCulloch, 
proprietor of McCulloch 's addition to Portage, a prominent druggist of 
the city. 

' ' The ' Old Pinery Road, ' so called was the road leading to the pineries 
in the north part of the state rimning via the Lewis', Quincy, etc., to 
Conant's Rapids and other lumbering points on the Wisconsin river. 

"The 'New Pinery Road' was laid out at a later date, starting from 
Adams Street and running via the Menominee House, Briggsville, Grand 
Marsh, etc., to the same general points that the ' Old Pinery Road' led to. 

' ' The writer of this has no knowledge why the names Coit, DenniHg, 
Kimberly and Piatt, all on Webb and Bronson's were applied to them, 
but were doubtless best bestowed in compliment to personal friends of 
the makers of the plat; neither can I say anything about the reason 
for giving the names Charles, Hermann, James, and Town to streets." 

Experiments in Banking 

Two banks failed in Portage before one came to stay — the City Bank 
of Portage. The Columbia County Bank was started by Marshall & Ilsley, 
of Milwaukee, in 1853, the local manager being Harrison S. Haskell. It 
was incorporated in 1854, and in the following year Fred S. Ilsley, of 
the Cream City contingent, joined the Portage institution as teller. Dur- 
ing 1855 Mr. Haskell also sold his interest and retired from business. 
Other changes occurred, and in 1860, Marshall & Ilsley withdrew entirely 
from the concern. In 1865, John P. McGregor, who had purchased Mr. 
Haskell's interest, became the sole owner of the bank, who therefore bore 
the full burden of its failure when it suspended in the panic of 1873. 

The Bank of Portage, organized in 1857 with D. Vandercook as presi- 
dent, was also a victim of the panic, LI. Breese being one of the receivers 
who wound up its afifairs. 

Among the financial institutions of Portage which prospered for a 
time, but failed in the panic of 1893, was the German Exchange Bank — 
F. W. Schulze, president ; and R. A. Sprecher, cashier. 

City Bank of Portage 

The City Bank of Portage was incorporated April 16, 1874, and com- 
menced business May 4th, with the following officers : LI. Breese, presi- 
dent; E. L. Jaeger, vice president; R. B. Wentworth, cashier. After 
several years, Mr. Wentworth was succeeded by his son, W. S., as cashier 
of the bank, Mr. Breese remaining at its head until long after. The 
present officers of the bank are : C. L. Alverson, president ; R. E. York, 


vice president ; John A. Raup, cashier. At the close of business Decem- 
ber 31, 1913, its deposits amounted to $485,670; surplus and undivided 
profits, $17,943; capital stock. $50,000. 

First National Bank 

The First National Bank was established in 1890, with a capital stock 
of $75,000. At the close of business March 4, 1914, its books indicated 
a surplus fund of $25,000, and deposits of $835,000, with total resources 
of $1,059,000. The First National is the depository for the United States 
Government, at Portage; for the State of Wisconsin, the County of 
Columbia, and the City of Portage. Its officers are: E. A. GowTan, 
president ; W. S. Stroud, vice president ; A. R. Barker, second vice presi- 
dent ; W. M. Edwards, cashier ; W. H. Roehm, P. J. Parkman and W. S. 
Stroud, directors. 

Portage Loan and Trust Company 

The Portage Loan and Trust Company was incorporated in 1905, its 
name indicating the general nature of its transactions. Loans are all 
made on real estate, principally in the country within a radius of fifty 
miles from .Portage. The company also acts as administrator, executor 
and guardian, the deposit of its capital stock with the state treasurer 
being a pledge for the faithful performance of any trust which may be 
undertaken. Mortgages are also bought and sold, and time deposits con- 
stitute another branch of its business. The capital stock of the concern 
is $50,000; surplus, $2,300; deposits, $432,638. R. N. MeConochie is 
president of the company and W. J. Scott, secretary and treasurer. 

The Eulberg Brewing Coiipany 

The largest of the industries located at Portage are represented by 
the Eulberg Brewing Company and the Portage Hosiery Company. The 
brewing plant comprises a large three-story brick building, fronting along 
the entire block between Cook and Conant Streets (or about three hun- 
dred feet) , with a frontage on Cook Street of over one hundred feet. The 
cellar (or basement) is all used for beer storage, carrying a large stock, 
with brew house outfit on first and second floors, having a capacity and 
output of fifty barrels at each brew. The ice machine which is a 20-ton 
machine, furnishes ample refrigeration for the entire plant and is located 
in machine room, adjoining boilers, using a York ice machine from the 


York Manufacturing Company, of York, Pa., and all of their cooling is 
done by the indirect or brine system (using ammonia and brine). 

The brew house is located on first and second floors, the latter being 
also used for storing malt, hops and all other brewing supplies, having 
a large capacity and all of their supplies in barley and hops are pur- 
chased in car lots, using both domestic and imported hops, the latter being 
imported from Bohemia (Austria), while domestic hops are largely 
brought from Oregon and barlej' from points in Wisconsin. The annual 
capacity of this brewery is 15,000 barrels. The bottling works in a 
separate building are well equipped with special machinery, operated by 
electric motor and have a capacity of about five -thousand barrels a year. 
Their special brand of bottled beer is known as Crown Select. The 
Eulberg brewery supplies the bulk of the local trade, while their product, 
toth in bottled and bulk goods, reaches distant parts of the United States 
and even goes abroad. 

The business M'as first established in its infancy about sixty years ago 
by Charles Kartell, who carried it on until his death in 1876, when it was 
changed to the Charles Kartell Brewing Company, continuing as such 
until July, 1884, when they were succeeded by the Eulberg Brothers, 
composed of Adam and Peter Eulberg, who carried on the business until 
the spring of 1895, when Adam Eulberg became sole owner, continuing 
until his death in 1901. The business was then continued by the Adam 
Eulberg estate until the spring of 1907, when the present company was 
incorporated with a capital stock of $50,000. The officers are J. J. Eul- 
berg, president and general manager; Julius A. Eulberg, secretary, J. 
N. Eulberg, treasurer; all of whom have had nearly a lifelong experi- 
ence in connection with the business. 

Epstein Brothers' Brewery 

There is also a small l)rewery at the corner of Jefferson and Canal 
streets, established in 1875, by Henry Epstein, and owned and operated 
since the death of the founder in 1901, by his sons under the name of 
Epstein Brothers. The capacity of the brewery is about 5,000 barrels 
yearly and of the bottling works, 1,000 barrels. 

The Portage Hosiery Company 

The Portage Hosiery Company, under the management of LI. Breese, 
the widely known pioneer and public character, and his son, LI. Breese, 
Jr., is an industry of wide fame and growing character. Its extensive 
plant is located on MuUett Street north of Wisconsin, and comprises an 


office building 100x45, a mill 148x-4;5, and two large warehouses, oue of 

The office building is two and one-half stories with office on second 
floor, while the balance of second floor and the entire lower floor are used 
for stock and finishing rooms. 

The first floor of mill building contains the machinery for making 
yarns. On the second floor are the knitting machines, operating 185 
machines and giving employment to a force of 185 hands, all experienced 
help. This is the only hosiery plant in Columbia County and one of the 
best equipped in Central Wisconsin, the works throughout being equipped 
with all conveniences, including electric lights. 

The productions comprise a full line of men's woolen hosiery and mit- 
tens, having a capacity of 500 dozen per day, which are supplied to the 
general trade throughout all northern states, from the Atlantic to the 

The business is of long standing, having been established in May, 1880, 
as a private co-partnership. It was owned and conducted by Loomis, 
Gallett & Breese, merchants, and E. B. Went worth, gi-ain dealer, all of 

On January 28, 1893, the business was incorporated with the follow- 
ing officers : President, R. B. Wentworth ; vice president, W. C. Gault ; 
secretary and treasurer, LI. Breese. ilr. Wentworth retired from active 
participation in the business soon after its incorporation, but retains stock 
in the company. The present officers are : LI. Breese, president, treas- 
urer and general manager; W. C. Gault, vice president; LI. Breese, secre- 
tary : W. C. Gault, Jr., superintendent. 

Ll. Breese 

LI. Breese, W'ho has but just entered his eighty-second year, still has 
a controlling hand upon this important industry. For more than half 
a century he has been before the people of his home city and his state, 
both in business and public capacities, and something more than an 
informal review of his life is due him and the history of Columbia County. 

Born May 13, 1833, at Abermyuaek, parish of :Malwyd, Merioneth- 
shire, Wales, he immigrated with his parents to the United States in May, 
1846. Settling on the home farm in the town of Randolph, his education 
was drawn from the district schools and the experience he received as a 
cultivator of the soil. His health was far from good, and in the fall of 
1858 he accepted the position of deputy sheriff of Columbia County, hop- 
ing thereby to get into more active work and extend his knowledge of 
men and of business. Previously he had held several town offices ; there- 


fore haci had a taste of ofificial life. In November, 1860, he was further 
advanced along this road by being elected eoiuity treasurer on the repub- 
lican ticket. 

After holding the county treasurership for three consecutive terms 
of two years each, in January, 1867, Mr. Breese became a partner in the 
drygoods firm of N. H. Wood & Company. Besides Mr. Wood, his asso- 
ciates were R. 0. Loomis and C. R, C4allett. In 1869 Mr. Wood withdrew, 
and the firm name became Loomis, Gallett & Breese. 

Mr. Breese was elected secretary of state in November, 1869. The 
office then carried with it the ex officio honor of commissioner of insur- 
ance, and in May, 1870, he represented the latter official at the National 
Insurance Convention held in New York City. For several meetings of 
that body thereafter, he was elected either vice president or president 
of the convention. 

At the expiration of his second term as secretary of state, Mr. 
Breese returned to Portage and resumed his connection with the mer- 
cantile world, besides being president of the City Bank of Portage, presi- 
dent of the Portage Iron Works, and president of the board of education. 
Not long after he became identified with the Portage Hosiery Company. 

Mr. Breese was married June 9, 1853, to Miss Mary E. Evans, of 
Milwaukee, by whom he had three boys and three girls, one of the latter 
dying in infancy. For years he has been one of the most prominent mem- 
bers of the First Presbyterian Church, as well as a leader in all the rites, 
activities and benevolences of jMasonry. 

Minor Industries 

There are a number of other manufactories worthy of note, aside from 
these mentioned, such as the Portage Underwear Company, the Freeland 
Tank Works and the Portage Boat and Engine Company. 



High School and Graded System Established — History op the Por- 
tage High School — The Study op German — Present School 
Buildings — City Superintendent Clough — List op Superintend- 
ents AND Clerks — Early Catholic Missionaries — Founding op St. 
:Mary"s Parish— Pastors op St. Mary 's— School Building Erected 
— The First Presbyterian Church op Portage — First Methodist 
Church — St. John's Episcopal Church — First Baptist Church — 
St. John's Evangelical Lutheran — Other Portage Churches — 
The Masons Form Pioneer Lodge — Chapter, Council and Com- 
mandery — I. O. 0. F. Bodies — The Pythian Brothers — The Elks 
Lodge — D. A. R., op Portage — Knights of Columbus and Foresters 
— Lodges of Railroad Employees — Portage Liederkranz — The 
National Verband — Country Club of Portage — The Y. 'SI. C. A. 

The history of the present system of schools of Portage had its I)irth 
on the 2d of May, 1859, when the tii'st meeting of the municipal Board 
of Education was held at the ofiSce of J. J. Guppey, the city superintend- 
ent. The commissioners were Volney Foster, First Ward; Baron S. 
Doty, Second Ward ; Alvin B. Alden, Third Ward, and Henry B. Munn, 
Fourth Ward. Mr. Doty was elected president of the board and Mr. 
Guppey acted as ex officio secretary. 

From the date of the city's incorporation in 1854, until that time. 
Portage had been under the district system — No. 1, comprising the First 
Ward ; No. 2, the Second ; No. 3, the Third. Fourth and Fifth wards. 

At the first meeting of the Board of Education mentioned, May 12, 
1859, was designated as the time, and the Common Council room as the 
place, for holding an examination for teachers of the intermediate and 
primary schools of the city. The board met and examined a number of 
applicants, the result being the appointment of G. F. Richardson, Charles. 
R. Gallett and ]Miss Luthera Waldo as teachers of the intermediate schools 
and Miss Kate Rowland, Miss Fannie E. Waldo, Miss Hannah P. Best 
and Miss Helvetia L. Reese, teachers of primary schools. 


High School and Graded System Established 

The board then organized the schools into a regular graded system. 
The First Ward of the city, except the portion lying north of Center 
Avenue, was made a district, with one primary and one intermediate 
school ; the territory north of Center Avenue and all of the Second Ward 
comprised another primary and intermediate district, and the Third and 
the Fourth wards another. In August (1859), a High School was 

Superintendent Guppey's first report under the new system showed 
that there were 1,076 children of school age residing in the City of Por- 
tage, 511 being males and 565 females, divided as follows: First Ward, 
293 ; Second Ward, 274 ; Third Ward, 145 ; Fourth Ward, 364. 

In October, 1861, Superintendent Guppey resigned his office to enter 
the Union army, where he made such an enduring record, and Henry B. 
Munn, the commissioner from the Fourtli Ward was appointed to fill 
the vacancy. 

History of the Portage High School 

In the meantime the High School had rapidly advanced in member- 
ship and efficiency under Professor Magoffin, with Abbey 0. Briggs as 
assistant. At first it was accommodated in the S.ylvester store, and no 
more than eighty pupils could be admitted, under the rules of the school 
board — eighteen from the First Ward, sixteen from the Second, fifteen 
from the Third and thirty-one from the Fourth. If any ward failed to 
furnish its quota, other wards or districts outside of the city might take 
advantage of the vacancies. Before the close of the first year, over one 
hundred pupils had been admitted, although the attendance had not been 
more than eighty at any one time. In 1863 the average attendance was 
eighty-two and in 1864, seventy-eight. In the latter year a grammar 
grade was established and installed in the high school under the princi- 
palship of Mrs. Agnes N. Cornwell. 

The first high school building was completed in 1864, and by the end 
of the school year the average attendance had risen to 109. 

In September, 1865, Professor ^Magoffin resigned as principal, and for 
about a year Miss Briggs, his former assistant, held the position. C. J. 
Whitney was appointed in August, 1866, Miss Briggs resuming her old 
place as assistant. Mr. Whitney resigned in the spring of 1867, Miss 
Briggs again stepped into the breach for a time, and E. E. Ashley was 
then appointed principal. In August, 1868, Mrs. Cornwell resigned the 


prineipalship of tlu' grammar school, and was succeeded by iliss Lizzie 
C. Osborn. 

The Study of German 

The large influx of Germans into Portage City late in the '80s made 
it advisable to introduce the study of their native tongue into the public 
school system. In 1869 a German class was organized in the high school 
under Rev. J. J. Hoffman, who heai-d recitations one hour daily in the old 
Lutheran schoolroom. In 1870 two German classes were formed from 
pupils of the high school, and scholars from the intermediate grades met 
on the lower floor of the Dean store on Clark Street under the tutorship 
of Miss Amelia Schneider. 

In 1873 J. J. Hughes was elected principal of the high school to suc- 
ceed Mr. Ashley, and in 1875, William M. Lawrence and W. G. Clough 
became respectively principal and assistant. ]\Ir. Clough was promoted 
to the head of the school in 1877. There he has remained^ and in 1904, 
under the new state law, became also cit.v superintendent of schools. For 
the good of its public system of education, Portage could not have a better 
dual official. Prof. Clough 's high school assistant is Miss Martha A. 
Karch, a graduate of the class of 1878, who has held her present position 
since 1889. She commenced her school duties soon after her graduation, 
making her the oldest teacher in length of continuous service on the 
city staff. 

The total enrollment in the city schools of Portage when Professor 
Clough became principal of the high school in 1877 was 924. It is now 
1,015 — 215 in the high school and 800 in the lower grades. 

Present School Buildings 

The present High School building was completed in 1895 at a cost of 
about sixty-five thousand dollars, and is a fine three-story structure of 
brick and stone, massive and modern. It centers in two blocks of city 
property bounded by DeWitt, Mac, Franklin and Burns streets. As it 
is located in the Third Ward of the city, the High School building accom- 
modates a full set of grades for that section. 

The First Ward schoolhouse on Wisconsin Street is a $3,000 build- 
ing, the pupils being under the prineipalship of ]\Iiss Eimna Schultz. 
It stands upon the site of the old "Lee House," purchased by the city 
in 1867. 

At fhe close of the year 1874, both the Second and Fourth Ward 
schoolhouses were completed. The Second Ward building, a four-room 


brick structure, cost the city some five thousand dollars, but is now valued 
at $7,000. It is on Monroe Street, the principal of the school being 
Miss Margaret Dempsey. 

The Fourth Ward school, the same size, is on Prospect Avenue, and 
is valued at $10,000; principal, Miss Kittie Williams. 

The Fifth Ward has a small two-room schoolhoiise which accommo- 
dates several primary 

City Superintendent Clough 

Professor W. G. Clough, head of the school system of Portage and 
one of the advisory editors of this work, is a native of the place, and is 

^^^^KS%% Jh 

■ ■■• .j^c^ffiW J fpft USEIBSItr'* ^'''' 

— . — .._____^, 

Portage High School 

still living ou a part of the tract which his father took up as govern- 
ment land in 1848. He is a son of William R. and Mary A. (Goeway) 
Clough, his parents settUng at Delavan, Wis., in 1846, and coming to 
Portage City two years thereafter. Mr. Clough was educated in the 
city schools, graduating from the High School in 1870. He taught three 
years in the country schools and in the grammar department of the old 
high school, after which he entered the University of Wisconsin and con- 
tinued therein from 1872 to 1875, graduating with the degree of A. B. 
He returned to Portage in 1875, when he became assistant to the High 
School principal, William M. Lawrence, whom he succeeded two years 
later. He served in that capacity until 1904, when the state law was 
passed requiring the city superintendent of schools to be a Normal school 


or college graduate. Previously the latter o£8ee had been held by men 
of other professions, or engaged in business, who also served as clerks 
of the school board ; since that year the head of the high school has been 
superintendent of the entire city system of schools. In 1910 he was 
elected president of the Southern Wisconsin Teachers' Association, a 
deserved compliment both to his ability and popularity. 

On January 3, 1882, Professor Clough married Miss Elsena Wiswall, 
of Prairie du Sac, Wis. Mrs. Clough taught for several years before 
her marriage, and since becoming a resident of Portage has become 
widely known in literary, educational and social circles. As public 
librarian for a dozen years her forceful, yet unobtrusive influence has 
been extended for the general good. 

Mr. and I\Irs. Clough are the pai'ents of a son and a daughter. The 
former, Dr. Paul W. Clough, is a graduate both of the University of 
Wisconsin (1903) and of the Johns Hopkins University Medical School 
(1907). He has taken a post-graduate medical course in Germany and 
for a number of years past has been identified with the Johns Hopkins 
Hospital, during the latter period with his connection as resident physi- 
cian. The daughter, Ethel Pearl Clough, graduated from the Wisconsin 
University in 1907, and is now the wife of Benjamin S. Reynolds, of 

List of Superintendents and Clerks 

The following have held the combined offices of superintendent of 
schools and clerk of the board of education : J. J. Guppey, 1859-61 ; 
Henry B. Muun, 1861-66; J. J. Guppey, 1866-73; G. J. Cox, 1873-75; 
N. K. Shattuck, 1875-77 ; A. C. Kellogg, 1877-81 ; A. Schloemileh, 1881- 
83; A. C. Kellogg, 1883-85; Thomas Armstrong, Jr., 1885-86; W. S. 
Stroud, 1886-88; Charles T. Susan, 1888-89; A. C. Kellogg, 1889-94; 
William Fulton, 1894-96 ; A. C. Kellogg, 1897-1904. Dr. A. C. Kellogg 
was secretary of the board, under the new law, from 1904 to 1907, when 
he resigned to accept the city attorneyship. H. A. Story, who had been 
president of the board from 1904 to 1907, resigned that position to 
become its secretary and succeed Dr. Kellogg; and he still holds the 

E.\RLY Catholic jMissionaries 

Christianity was planted at Portage by the Catholic missionaries, 
the first priest of undoubted authenticity to preach at this point being 



Father Marquette. No authentic records of later missionary work at 
the portage are found until about 1825. At intervals until 1831 Cath- 
olic priests gathered the Indians there to preach their faith. 

As noted, at the suggestion of the young Dominican priest, Rev. 
Samuel C. Mazzuchelli, Pierre Pauquette erected what is considered 
the first church in Central Wisconsin during the year 1833. Later, while 
on his way to St. Louis, Father Mazzuchelli discovered a Catholic colony 
near Dubuque, Iowa. While laboring in that vicinity he purchased 
Sinsinawa ilound, on the opposite side of the Mississippi, in Wisconsin, 

Old Pauquette Church, Portage 

and after energetic work established a college and academy there. The 
institution has developed into great fame as St. Clara's Academy, under 
the supervision of the Sisters of St. Dominie. Father Mazzuchelli died 
at Benton, Lafayette County, Wisconsin, in 1864. 

Founding op St. Mary's Parish 

For several years after the burning of the little log church erected 
by Pauquette, services were held occasionally in the homes of the first 
white settlers. Among these were James Collins, Thomas Christopher, 


John Sweeney, Mrs. Ward, M. R. Kegan, Patrick Leunou and Charles 
Moore. Father Smith attended to their spiritual needs for a short time, 
and was succeeded by Father Hobbs, who held services in a house near 
Fort Winnebago. In 1850 Rev. Louis Godhardt administered to their 
needs in a building located in what is now the First Ward of the city. 

Pastors op St. M.\ry's 

In 1851 the Catholics erected a small edifice called St. Mary's Church. 
It was located near the old "Pauquette Church" site, and ai-ound its 
memory are gathered many interesting episodes in the life of St. Mary's 
Parish. Rev. James Roche succeeded Father Godhardt in 1852, and in 
1857 came Rev. J. Doyle. The latter effected the purchase of the present 
site of St. Mary's Church, and after some remodeling the building, 
which had been used by the Baptists, was dedicated as St. ]\Iary's of 
the Immaculate Conception. Father Doyle also purchased the land 
north of the city as a burial place, since known as St. Mary's Cemetery. 
Rev. P. J. 'Xeil and Rev. F. Pettit succeeded Father Doyle, the latter 
Iniilding the parsonage which was moved, in 1899, to a site near the 
Lutheran School in the Fifth Ward. After two and a half years. Father 
Pettit was followed by Rev. Thomas Keenan, who for thirteen .years not 
only ministered to the Catholics of Portage, but also of Lodi, Dane, Kil 
bourn and other places. 

School Buildtng Erected 

During Father Keenan "s pastorate St. Mary's school building was 
erected, but he died in the fall of 1880 before it was opened to the chil- 
dren he loved. The deceased was succeeded by his brother, Rev. Joseph 
Keenan, now the well-know^l pastor of St. Patrick's Church, Fond du 
Lac, who remained with St. ]\Iary's for about eight months. His suc- 
cessor. Rev. John Brady, died in the service of that church, and his 
work was taken up l)y a friend and classmate at the University of 
Louvain, Belgium, Rev. J. A. Geissler. Rev. George Brady, his suc- 
cessor and brother of his predecessor, remained as pastor of St. Mary's 
Church for thirteen years. Although sufifering almost continuously with 
pulmonary trouble, Father Brady's administration of affairs was ener- 
getic and stimulating. In 1883 the church building was enlarged and 
beautified at a cost of !{!8,000. which improvements were made necessary 
by the gi-owth of the parish. To lighten Father Brady's labors. Rev. 
A. P. Desmond was appointed as an assistant pastor in July. 1896; but, 


despite all human care, the former died February 23, 1897, his remains 
being interred in the cemetery of his native parish. Freedom, Wis. 

R€v. J. D. Cummane also was called away in the midst of his labors 
for St. Mary's Parish, on July 30, 1899, being succeeded by Rev. M. H. 
Clifford, who came from St. Joseph's Church, Berlin, Wis. Under his 
pastorate, covering five years, the church was renovated without and 
within, and a commodious and modern building was erected as the 
priest's residence. In November, 1904, Father Clifford resigned to 
take charge of St. Peter's Church, Oshkosh. 

Until May, 1905, Portage belonged to the Green Bay Diocese, but 
at that time a new division of territory was made by which Columbia 
County was included in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. 

At the resignation of Father Clifford, Father James Brady was 
appointed pastor of St. Mary's. In July, 1905, he was transferred to 
St. John's Cathedral, Milwaukee, where he died in the following year. 

In July, 1905, Rev. John Morrissey, the present pastor, took charge 
of the parish. During his pastorate St. Francis Xavier Congregation 
(German Catholic) was dissolved, joining St. Mary's Church, to which 
body it deeded its property. The rapid growth of the church made 
it necessary to send Father Morrissey an assistant, and in 1908 Father 
Knoernsehild was appointed to that post. Other evidences of the pros- 
perous condition of the parish have been the redecoration of the church, 
the lifting of the debt from St. Francis Xavier, and an addition to the 
parochial school. 

The average attendance at St. Mary's school is about two hundred. 
The children are taught by the Sisters of St. Dominic. The school has 
been established since 1866 and conducted in its present location since 
1880. The sisters are comfortably housed in St. Dominic's Convent, 
standing on the property of the church, which is a credit both to the 
parish and the city. 

The ilETHODisTs OF Portage 

In the spring of 1851, a society of Methodists was organized in Portage 
by the Rev. Mr. Mackintosh. He remained but a short time, and such 
local preachers as James Chancellor and Isaac Smith — the latter an 
exhorter from the colony of English potters who had settled in the north- 
ern part of the county — kept the organization together, pending the 
organization of a regular church. Rev. William Wells, a sturdy pioneer 
minister, often filled the pulpit of this society. 

In the fall of 1852, Rev. John Bean was sent to Portage by the pre- 
siding elder, as the result of an urgent call, and thus became the first 


re^Iar pastor. Rev. D. Stausbury succeeded him, and during his 
pastorate, about 1856, the society erected a small wooden building as a 
house of worship. 

Among those who have served the society as pastors, succeeding ilr. 
Stansbury, were : Rev. C. P. Hackney, H. V. Train, W. B. Haseltine, 
R. Langley. John JM. Springer, I. B. Bachman, Jacob ililler. I. B. Rich- 
ardson, William Haw, James Evans, George AV. Case, John Knibbs, 
F. ^\. Hall, A. S. Collins, \X. J. McKay. J. E. Irish. W. R. Irish. A. M. 
Pilcher, H. W. Bushnell, E. Trimm and W. II. Penn (the present in- 

The beautiful church, corner of DeWitt and Pleasant, opposite the 
courthouse square, is largely the result of the labors of the Ladies' Aid 
Society, who for several years energetically collected funds for its erec- 
tion. The church was built under the pastorate of Rev. H. AV. Bushnell. 
On October 3, 1897, Rev. D. W. Couch, of Ne\y York City, made an 
appeal for subscriptions to the new church, which, with resources on 
hand, gave the enterprise a backing of $6,000. The board of directors 
then took matters well in hand, and in the following year the corner- 
stone of the present structure was laid, being completed at a cost of 
$11,000. The edifice has two spires, the major one, ninety feet high, 
being on the corner of DeWitt and Pleasant streets. 

The First Methodist has cause for pride as a stinuilant of patriot- 
ism, as illustrated by the records of some of its pastors in Civil war 
times. Rev. John 'SI. Springer enlisted as a private and died in the 
Union service. Rev. R. Langley was an army chaplain, and Revs. W. J. 
McKay and A. M. Pilcher have creditable army records. 

The present membership of the First Methodist is nearly two hun- 
dred and twenty, with a Sunday School which has 245 scholars. The 
church is old, but strong, active and growing. 

FuiST Ciiuech 

After some years of missionary work in this place the First Presby- 
terian Church of the town of Fort Winneliago was organized by Rev. 
William Wynkoop McXair. July 14, 1S.")(), and incorporated as such, 
July 29, 1850. Not until July 21. 1892. was the name changed to the 
First Presbyterian Church of Portage. 

On organizing, a frame building was erected on ground opposite the 
county jail, which served as a house of worship until Februaiy, 1856, 
and the former building was sold to the Baptists who moved it to near 
the southeast corner of Adams and Conant streets; the Presbyterians 


having moved to the brick edifice ou the north corner of Cook and Adams 
streets, erected an edifice at a cost of $13,000. 

This was a most substantial building, and will be a prominent land- 
mark for many years to come. It has been twice gutted by fire, but 
it stands today apparently as good as ever. 

The first fire occurred May 19, 1892, doing damage to such an extent 
that it was deemed advisable to build in a more westerly location. Por- 
tage having gi'own in that direction, and the present place of worship 
was erected in 1893, and dedicated October 15th. In this church and 
the manse on adjoining property east, the Presbyterians own one of 
the pretty and substantial church properties of the state, worth over 
forty thousand dollars. 

Following the resignation of the Rev. W. W. McNair, the following 
were incumbents of the pulpit : Rev. George C. Heckman, 1856-60 ; 
Rev. Benjamin Van Zandt, 1860-62; Rev. Fred R. Wotring, 1863-66; 
Rev. Charles F. Beach, 1867-69; Rev. John H. Ritchey, 1869-74: Rev. 
Samuel Wycoif, 1874-77 ; Rev. L. H. Mitchell, 1878-81 ; Rev. Daniel 
Bierce, 1881-83 ; Rev. I. V. W. Schenck, 1883-86 ; Rev. John H. Ritchey 
(second term), 1886-1902, (died) ; Rev. W. G. Blue, 1902-07; Rev. J. f. 
Cleland, 1907-12; Rev. A. S. ftfcKay, 1913, present incumbent. The 
foregoing were all men of more than ordinary ability, but the twenty- 
one years of John H. Ritchey, ended by death, show his great worth and 

In the following those marked * were elders and t trustees: Con- 
nected with Rev. W. W. MeNair in the organization were, George Wall *t ; 
Chauncy J. Pettibone * ; H. R. Pettibone; John apJones and John A. 
Johnson, clerk. Mention in those early records and later, and the order 
given are the following: Charles Helms; Dr. D. C. Holteustein; C. J. 
McCullock t ; Decatur Vandercook ; Lemuel Berry f ; L. S. Dixon ; W. 
Owen; E. 0. Emerson; John E. Peabody; Rev. J. B. Plum.stead; Donald 
Ferguson * John L. Clark * ; E. S. Doty; S. E. Dana ; George H. Osboru; 
M. C. Prescott; Alva Stewart; E. P. Hill; LI. Breese *'t ; R. 
B. Wentworth f ; E. L. Jaeger t ; D. G. Muir t ; A. D. Hem- 
men way * ; R. Pool; Thomas Yule* ; M. Jennings* ; W. S. Scher- 
merhorn*; W. G. Bebb ; W. L. Parry*; R. Campbell; R. 0. 
Loomist; G. J. Cox; J. J. Edwards; S. Shaw; R. L. Williams; N. K. 
Shattuck *t ; James Paterson f ; C. R. Austin; William Fulton *t ; J. 
H. Rogers t ; John Williamson t ; L. L. Kennan ; D. A. Goodyear t ; G. J. 
Owen ; George Yule ; William L. Breese ; Alex Sheret ; D. Buglass, Sr. ; 
Paul Schumann!; M. L. Alverson; F. A. Lanzer * ; W. C. Barden * ; 
Dr. F. T. Gorton *t ; F. L. Sanborn *t ; E. R. Rice * ; H. E. Andrews *t ; 
R. L. Cochran * ; C. F. Mohr t ; R, JMcConochie t ; D. Bogue.* 


The present ehuroh officers with terms expiring as follows are : Ses- 
sion, pastor; A. D. McKay, moderator; William Fulton, 1915, clerk; 
LI. Breese (life) ; H. E. Andrews, 1916; F. L. Sanbora, 1917; F. T. Gor- 
ton, 1917; D. Bogue, 1917, elders. Board of trustees: Chairman, F. L. 
Sanborn, 1915 ; Wm. Fulton, clerk, 1916 ; LI. Breese, 1915 ; F. T. Gorton, 
1915: E. L. Jaeger, 1916; M. L. Alverson. 1916; J. H. Rogers, 1917; C 
F. Mohr, 1917; R. X. MeConochie, 1917. The deacons are: E. L. 
Jaeger, A. Janda and A. 0. Thayer. Treasurer of general fund, D. T. 
Lurvey ; treasurer of benevolences, F. L. Sanborn. 

The church has the following small endowments for special purposes : 
The Lydia H. Wentworth [Memorial Fund, The Mrs. A. Weir Fund, 
and The Mrs. Maria J. Baker Fund ; and its affairs are in good condi- 
tions and without debt of any kind. 

The period of the Civil war was detrimental to the progress of the 
Presbj-terian Chiirch, as it was more or less to that of ever.y other relig- 
ious body in Portage. It was .just recovering when Mr. Ritchey assumed 
his first pastorate, under which the church increased materially in mem- 
bership. When he resumed the charge in 1886, it had a membership 
of about one hundred and thirty, and under his long and faithful second 
ineumbeuc.v it reached its highest state of prosperity. 

The old church burned ^lay 29, 1892, and the new structure was 
completed and dedicated October 15, 1893. Present membership about 
two hundred and twenty-five. 

The First Presbyterian Church is the oldest Protestant organization 
in Portage, and its long life has been fruitful of great uplifting power 
in the eonununity. 

St. John's Episcopal Church 

St. John's Episcopal Church of Portage was organized June 8, 1853, 
at a meeting held in Verandah Hall. The well-known pioneer, Heniy 
Merrell, was chosen chairman, and J. B. Seaman secretary of the meet- 
ing, after which Mr. Merrell was elected senior warden and Alvah Hand 
junior warden of the parish, with C. D. Hottenstein, John Delaney, J. B. 
Seaman, M. H. Pettibone and A. C. Ketchum as vestrymen. After the 
election of Doctor Hottenstein and 'Sir. Seaman as treasurer and secre- 
tary, respectivel.v, an invitation was extended to Rev. E. A. Goodenough, 
a missionary, to take spiritual charge of the small flock of Episcopalians, 
which invitation was accepted. Such, in brief, were the proceedings of 
the first meeting of St. John's Episcopal Parish. 

ilissionaries continued the services at Verandah Hall until August 7, 
1854, when Rev. Hugh Miller Thompson accepted a call as the first 


settled rector. The building of the first church was started June 4, 1855, 
when the late Richard F. Veeder, then a vestryman, donated its site. 
The edifice was completed the same year, and consecrated by the Rt. 
Rev. Jackson Kemper, D. D., on August 31, 1856. Mr. Thompson was 
ordained at the same time and continued the rectorship until November, 
1858, subsequently becoming widely known as rector of Grace Episcopal 
Church, New York. 

Rev. Eugene C. Patterson, who succeeded Mr. Thompson, served the 
parish until 1860, and was followed in 1861 by Rev. Alonzo J. M. Hud- 
son. The rectorship was assumed by Rev. Walter F. Lloyd in 1867, 
and by Rev. Samuel D. Pulford in 1869. In 1871, during his incum- 
bency, the present rectory was built. After seven years of service, in 
1876 Mr. Pulford was succeeded by Rev. John K. Karcher, who, after a 
brief rectorship, was followed by Rev. Joel Clark, the latter retiring 
in 1879. 

Rev. Hany Thompson and Rev. Charles Susan served the church 
from March, 1879, to April, 1880; Rev. John Wilkenson from the 
latter date until November, of the same year, and Rev. H. C. Whitte- 
more for the succeeding three years, followed by Rev. Charles T. Susan, 
who held the charge until December, 1893, when he was appointed arch- 
deacon of the diocese. 

Rev. Frederick E. Jewell accepted the rectorship in February, 1894, 
closing his work here May 1, 1900; and his was a noted service. It was 
during his pastorate, on Sunday, October 17, 1897, that the old church 
was destroyed which the congregation had occupied for forty-one years. 
The present edifice was first used September 4, 1898, and was dedicated 
by Bishop I. L. Nicholson March 9, 1899. During Mr. Jewell's rector- 
ship the first vested choir of St. John's was organized. 

Rev. A. G. Harrison assumed charge of the parish in February, 
1901 ; was succeeded in February, 1905, by Rev. A. G. Jones, and a year 
later by Rev. Herman F. Rockstroh. During Mr. Rockstroh's rector- 
ship the parish took on new life, and his sudden death, December 1, 
1907, was a great loss to the church and the community. His outward 
memorial in St. John's Parish is Rockstroh Hall, a structure erected in 
1913 between the church building and the rectory, in which is conducted 
the general work of the parish. 

Rev. William E. Phillips became rector of St. John's in July, 1908, 
and continued in charge of the parish until July, 1912. In December 
of that year Rev. William H. Pond, the present incumbent, was called 
to the service. 

At the present time, St. John's Episcopal Church has 265 communi- 
cants, and is growing as a stable religious body of Christians. 


First B.vptist Chcrch 

The First Baptist Church of Portage City was organized a few 
months after St. John's Episcopal. On August 30, 1853, the following 
met at Spieer's schoolhouse, Fort Winnebago, to perfect an organiza- 
tion: A. L. Round. I. Fuller. M. Fuller, Samautha P. Kineaid, Eunice 
Fuller, Malissa Fuller, C. Wright, Julia Wright, A. Spicer, Caroline 
Spicer, R. Spicer, Christina Spicer, Tacy Spicer, Mary C. Trout, T. R. 
Jones, Amanda Jones, Phoebe and Lucy Fuller, Lecta M. Cully and 
Thomas 0. Hear. After the society was organized services were con- 
ducted at the schoolhouse, in Verandah Hall on DeWitt Street, and at 
the residences of members. 

The first regular pastor, Elder J. H. Rogers, commenced his labors 
July 19, 1855, and during his pastorate (in 1857) the society purchased 
the Presbyterian edifice on Cook Street opposite the county jail, and 
moved it to the .southeast corner of Conaut and Adams streets. Soon 
afterward it was sold to the Catholics, who removed it to an adjoining 
lot, whereon they had built a frame church. The purchased structure 
was afterward used by St. Mary's Parish as a parochial schoolhouse. 

The Baptists then took immediate measures for the construction of 
a brick church on Cook Street, near Mac. The basement of the new 
building, in which the society assembled for worship, was dedicated 
Octolier 30, 1859, but sold the following year to the Catholics in exchange 
for their property on Conant Street. Upon this was a frame school- 
house, which the Baptists transformed into their church home. 

Following Mr. Rogers, who resigned in December, 1859, came, within 
the following decade. Revs. I. J. Hoile. A. Whitman, E. Ellis, J. H. 
Wilderman, W. Archer, D. S. McEwen, R. Storey, George P. Guild. J. W. 
Fuhrmau, Charles Haas, H. J. Finch, Adam Fawcett, G. E. Farr, W. H. 
Stone, H. R. ilacMillan and Ira W. Bingham. 

The building on Conant Street, which had been used as a church 
for thirty-seven years, being too small for the increased membership 
of 1896 (over three hundred), was sold in that year, and the structure 
now occupied by the congregation was purchased of the Presbyterians 
and remodeled. It was dedicated as a Baptist church May 3, 1896. 
Eight months from that time the interior of the edifice was destroyed 
by fire, but rebuilding at once commenced and the church was reopened 
on June 13, 1897. 

It was during the pastorate of Dr. W. H. Stone that the First Baptist 
celebrated the golden anniversary of its founding in 1853. The services 
were largely attended, and the occasion brought forth much deserved 


felicitation over its long record of progress among the religious com- 
munities of Portage. 

At present the First Baptist Church has an active membership of 
190, of whom 120 are residents of the city. 

St. John's Evangelical Lutheran 

The strong German element in Portage asserted itself at an early 
day in the organization of a number of churches, of which the St. John 's 
Evangelical Lutheran is the most influential of the present day. This 
society was organized in 1854, through the efforts of Christian Braetz, 
George Jurgens and other fellow-countrymen, and Rev. Mr. Beckel was 
its first pastor. Services were held in the Fourth Ward schoolhouse 
until 1874. 

In the meantime the membership had largely incred,sed and the 
financial resoui-ces of the church so increased as to warrant the erection 
of a permanent house of worship. The result was the completion of the 
briek structure at the corner of Carroll and Mac, in the year mentioned ; 
and it is still occupied by St. John's, under the pastoral charge of Rev. 
William Uffenbeck. Mr. Uffenbeek was called to the pastorate in 1904. 
Within his charge are 712 communicants, of whom 181 are voting mem- 
bers. The Sunday school of St. John's numbers about one hundred and 
twenty. Connected with the church is also a large parochial school 
about half a mile west. So that altogether St. John's Evangelical Luth- 
eran Church is perhaps the strongest religious body in Portage, and one 
of the most prominent in Southern Wisconsin. 

The small frame building in which St. John's congregation had 
worshipped prior to the erection of the brick church was sold to the 
Free Methodists in 1874, and for some years they maintained services 
at the northeast corner of Jefferson and Pleasant, whither they had 
moved it. 

German Evangelical Trinity Church 

The German Evangelical Trinity Church was organized in Portage 
in 1863, by the Rev. Louis Von Ragir. This church is located at the 
intersection of Wisconsin Street and Prospect Avenue. Mr. Von Ragir 
was succeeded by the Rev. Mr. Hauf, and he by the Rev. Mr. Gotleib. 
It was under Mr. Gotleib 's ministry, that the church was erected. 
Rev. A. Klein succeeded Mr. Gotleib. Succeeding him were : Revs. D. 
Ankele, J. Frankenstein and C. A. Hauck. The Rev. Edward Resmann 
is the present pastor and has served the people of that church for more 


than a quarter of a century — under his pastorate the church has been 
greatly improved and the men^bership greatly increased. 

Other Portage Churches 

The German Catholics founded a church in 1877. and erected a brick 
edifice on Mac Street, but they have been absorbed by St. Mary's Parish, 
as will be evident from a reading of its history. 

The il.vsoxs Form Pioneer Lodge 

The Masons were the first of the secret and benevolent orders to 
establish themselves in Portage. Their pioneer was Fort Winnebago 
Lodge No. 33, A. F. & A. M., organized in 1850, the dispensation being 
granted June 26th by William R. Smith, grand master of the state, and 
the charter granted on December 13th. The original meeting was held 
in the house afterward occupied by John Graham as a residence. It 
then stood on Cook Street, opposite the present site of the First Pres- 
byterian Church. It is said that the old anteroom door, with the little 
wicket in the center through which the belated members of the mystic 
order were wont to whisper mysterious words in order that they might 
join the "rest of the boys," was afterward used as a cellar door by 
Brother Graham. 

The charter members of the lodge were Hugh JMcFarlane, Erastus 
Cook, Charles M. Kingsbury, Walter W. Kellogg, G. Law, Nelson McNeal, 
Robert Hunter and Daniel Clough. John Delaney, the law^'er-editor, 
was the first initiate, joining the lodge October 17, 1850. 

The lodge at first met in Vandercook"s Block, but since 1883 all the 
Masonic bodies of Portage have held their meetings in their own hall, 
the lower story of which has been occupied — first by the armory of 
Company F, and of late years by the postoffi.ce. The present member- 
ship of the lodge is 175. 

The present officers of the blue lodge are as follows: Frank R. 
Graham, master; E. Andrews, senior warden; D. T. Lurvy, junior war- 
den ; John Graham, treasurer ; Harry Slinger, secretary. John Graham's 
first official position in Fort Winnebago Lodge dates from 1858, when he 
was elected junior warden, and he has held the position of treasurer con- 
tinuously since 1867. LI. Breese was secretary in 1861, and is among 
the oldest of the living Masons in Columbia County. M. T. Alverson, 
who was secretary in 1868, and Edmund S. Baker, secretary in 1871, are 
also among the Masonic veterans. 


Chapter, Council and Commandeey 

Fort Winnebago Chapter No. 14, R. A. M., was granted a dispen- 
sation by R. D. Pulford, grand high priest of Wisconsin, February 22, 
1856. To be strictly accurate, from the date of dispensation to February 
5, 1862, the name of the chapter was Portage, its present name having 
been assumed in the latter year. The chapter met for the first time 
March 11, 1856, and the officers were installed February 28, 1857. The 
first three who received the R. A. degree were A. B. Alden, G. W. Stout 
and J. Arnold. Mr. Alden was grand master of the Masons of Wisconsin 
in 1861-63. 

The present officers of the chapter, which has a membership of 175, 
are: James A. Older, high priest; J. H. Rogers, king; M. T. Alverson, 
scribe ; E. S. Baker, secretary ; Alois Zienert, treasurer. John Graham 
was first identified with the chapter officially in 1857, when he held the 
position of secretary, and Mr. Alverson, whose official connection with 
the chapter commenced in 1870, is still on the staff. 

The Council of Royal and Select Masters, which has a membership 
of forty-five, has the following officers: M. T. Alverson, illustrious 
master; R. A. Smith, deputy master; J. S. Williams, principal con- 
ductor of work; E. S. Baker, recorder and treasurer. 

Fort Winnebago Commandery No. 4, Knights Templar, received its 
dispensation from H. L. Palmer, grand commander of the state, on 
January 2, 1862. The commandery met, for the first time, on April 17, 
1861, with E. P. Hill as eminent commander. The present officers of 
the commandery, which numbers 123 members, are : R. B. York, com- 
mander; J. H. Rogers, generalissimo; W. M. Edwards, captain general; 
G. W. Case, prelate ; R. S. Woodman, senior warden ; Henry C. Brodie, 
junior warden; E. S. Baker, recorder; Alois Zienert, treasurer. 

I. 0. 0. F. Bodies 

The first Odd Fellows of Portage were largely Germans. This was so 
evident to the members of their pioneer organization. Portage City 
Lodge No. 61, which was established Januarj^ 2, 1854, that the English- 
speaking element gradually withdrew. In January, 1862, the lodge be- 
came an English-speaking organization. 

The present Wauona Lodge, No. 132, was instituted on the 8th of 
October, 1867, its first officers being: S. K. Vaughan, noble grand; 
M. Waterhouse, vice grand ; M. T. Alverson, recording secretary ; B. J. 
Pixley, treasurer; James Munroe, permanent secretary. Those now in 


office: H. A. Cuff, noble grand; John Gay, vice grand; Ray Watson, 
recording secretary ; Joseph H. Bryan, financial secretary ; R. C. Anacker, 
treasurer; F. L. Sanborn, James Baird and Charles Guenther, trustees. 
The lodge has over sixty members, and a flourishing auxiliary — Pansy 
Rebekah Lodge No. 106, organized in 1893. 

The Pythian Brothers 

Pythianism in Portage was born in 1882, when J. B. Powell, of 
Milwaukee, an enthusiast oi' the order, canvassed the local field and, 
although he found it rather crowded with lodges of the older orders, 
marshaled twenty-two men to support the cause, and Portage Lodge No. 
35, K. of P., was the result. It was instituted January 16, 1883, and 
its first officers were: William Meacher, Jr., P. C; H. S. Goss, C. C; 
J. E. Jones, V. C. ; Wiliam Edwards, P. C. ; A. Colonius, M. of E. : R. A. 
Spreeher, M. of F. ; W. C. Mantor, K. of R. and S. ; E. S. Purdy, M. of A. ; 
P. J. Barkman, I. G. ; E. H. Hughes, 0. G. ; representatives to the grand 
lodge, William Meacher, Jr., and J. E. Jones. But evidently the time 
was not ripe for the planting and growth of No. 35, which ceased to 
meet in 1886, and at the grand lodge convention of ilarch 13, 1888, its 
charter was suspended. 

In September, 1892, ten years after the first attempt to establish a 
Pythian lodge in Portage, Mr. Powell again appeared with his old-time 
vim. At this time he had behind him an order which had steadily gained 
in popularity, as well as a larger city. Securing the names of forty 
citizens (some of them connected with No. 35), Mr. Powell obtained a 
working team of his Pythian brothers from Milwaukee, and IMcQueeney 
Lodge No. 104 was organized in the ^Masonic lodge room, on the 10th of 
September, 1892, although the charter was not granted until May 30th 
of the succeeding year. 

Following are the first officers installed : M. McQueeney, P. C. ; J. B. 
Taylor, P. ; J. M. Russell, M. of E. ; James :\I. Lawson, :\I. of A. ; E. H. 
Warner, I. G. ; M. T. Alverson, C. C. ; W. C. Jens, V. C. ; A. J. Niemeyer, 
M. of F.; E. A. Pollard, K. of R. & S. ; Robert G. Buglass, 0. G. 
Altogether there were forty-one charter members. 

The lodge has now about one hundred and forty members, with the 
following officers: 1913, Frank R. Graham, C. C. ; 1914, E. J. Klug, 
C. C; Charles H. Hall, V. C. ; Otto E. Isberner, P.; A. D. Johnson, 
M. of W. ; S. H. Peck, M. of E. ; Anton Lohr, M. of F. ; W. R. Jamieson, 
C. of R. S. ; P. P. Huebner. M. at A. ; E. A. Rebholz. I. G. ; Wm. Nie- 
meyer, 0. 6. Present number of members, 152. 


Portage Lodge, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks 

Portage Lodge of Elks was organized March 26, 1901, with thirty 
members. It has been one of the most progressive lodges in the city, 
having initiated 252 members; its present membership is 153. 

The tirst officers of this organization were: J. H. Wells, Exalted 
Ruler; J. E. Jones, Leading Knight; H. L. Bellinghausen, Loyal Knight; 
E. H. Burlingame, Lecturing Knight; Charles G. Jaeger, Secretary; 
Frank P. Dnnker, Treasurer; D. Buglass, Tyler; J. C. Butt, Esquire; 
C. P. Jaegei-, Chaplain; E. P. Ashley, Inner Guard; Trustees, A. C. 
Taylor, H. J. Puffer, J. C. McKenzie. 

The lodge maintains clulj rooms adjoining its hall and is first in 
charities and social functions in the city organizations. The present 
officers of the lodge are: Julius Eulberg, Exalted Ruler; Dr. W. J. 
Thomson, Leading Knight; E. B. Lillie, Loyal Knight; Wm. Papke, 
Lecturing Knight; E. A. Weinke, Secretary; Otto Paulus, Treasurer; 
J. W. Dalton, Tyler; T. F. Curry, Esquire; W. 0. Kelm, Chaplain; 
C. W. Baker, Inner Guard ; Trustees, J. C. Leiseh, Carl Luedtke, A. 

D. A. R. op Portage 
By 31 rs. J. E. Jones 

Wau-Bun Chapter No. 439 is the name by which is known the Portage 
Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution. Wau-Bun is an Indian 
word signifying "Dawn," which seemed an especially fitting name for 
an organization whose aim it is to keep alive the memories of the dawn 
of American Independence and the names of the brave men and women 
who achieved it. 

This chapter was organized in 1898, its charter having been granted 
on December 14th of that year. To Mrs. A. C. Flanders, who became 
a member of the National Society January 3, 1897, is largely due the 
credit for its existence. Early in 1898 Mesdames E. H. Van Ostrand, 
W. M. Edwards, S. A. Holden and C. W. Latimer also became members 
of the national organization, and, reinforced by this able corps of assist- 
ants, the necessary twelve were soon secured and the local chapter organi- 
zation completed in December, 1898. The twelve charter members were : 
Mesdames A. C. Flanders, E. H. Van Ostrand, W. M. Edwards, S. A. 
Holden, Clark Latimer, C. M. Bodine, James Gowran, R. 0. Spear, M. T. 
Alverson, S. H. Low, and Misses Minnie Decker and Fannie Waldo. 

The first officers were: Regent, Mrs. Flanders; vice regent, Mrs. 


Van Ostrand; registrar, Mrs. Edwards; recording secretary, Mrs. 
Holden; treasurer, Mrs. Latimer; historian, Mrs. Bodine; con-esponding 
secretary, Mrs. Alverson. 

The principal work of the chapter has consisted in the marking of 
historic points in and about Portage, the most pretentious effort being 
the placing of a granite monument, with appropriate ceremonies, to 
mark the place where Father JMarquette and Joliet launched their boats 
in the Wisconsui River after crossing the Portage on their historic trip 
in 1673. 

To stimulate an interest in the study of history, both national and 
local, prizes have been given to the pupils of the schools for proficiency 
in United States history and for essays on local history. 

The custodianship of historic Old Fort Winnebago Cemetery has 
been committed to Wau-Bun Chapter by the National Government, and 
the ladies hope to make the spot a beautiful and worthy memorial to the 
pioneers and soldiers who lie buried here, among whom is a Revolution- 
ary soldier. Cooper Pixle.y, whose memory the "daughters" delight to 
honor on each recurring Memorial Da.y. 

The present membership of the chapter is sixty-five, about half the 
number being non-resident members. 

The present officers are : Regent, ]\Irs. Chester W. Smith ; vice 
regent, Mrs. E. S. Purdy ; recording seei-etary, ilrs. S. A. Holden ; corre- 
sponding secretary, jMrs. H. J. Puffer; treasurer, Mrs. T. J. Hettinger; 
registrar, Mrs. Clark Latimer; historian, Mrs. D. A. Hillyer; chaplain, 
Mi-s. M. T. Alver.son; custodian. Mrs. J. E. Jones. 

Knights of Columbus and Foresters 

The Knights of Columbus, and Foresters, have strong organizations 
in Portage. The former. Portage Council No. 1637, was organized May 
12, 1912, and has a membership of 112. William O. Kelm is G. K. ; 
Herbert J. Slowey, D. G. K.; John J. O'Keefe, C; Henry W. Williams, 
W. ; Joseph Buckley, F. S. ; Frank C. Kenney, R. ; Louis Yanko, 0. G. ; 
Thomas Devine, I. G. ; Joseph Gabriels, lecturer ; Arthur R. Tobin, advo- 
cate. Although the name of T. F. Curry does not appear officially, 
he is accorded full credit as being one of the founders of the K. of C. 
in Portage. 

S. B. Ernsperger is C. R. of the Foresters; James Mcilahon, P. C. R. ; 
F. G. Klenert, V. C. R. ; L. F. Yanko, R. S. ; Joseph J. Rubin. F. S. ; 
Joseph Dalton, T. ; W. 0. Kelm, speaker. 


Lodges of Railroad Employes 

Railroad employes have several well organized lodges or unions, 
the engineers, firemen and trainmen being all represented. Perhaps 
the strongest of these bodies is Portage Lodge No. 767, B. of L. E. & F., 
which was organized by Dr. W. B. Corey, general medical examiner, 
in March, 1909. Of this, P. J. Mulcahy is president; H. J. Am, vice 
president; E. W. Smith, F. S. ; D. T. G. Mulcahy, R. S. ; Frank Is- 
berner, T. 

Portage Liederkranz 

Notice is due several organizations which are neither secret nor 
benevolent. The oldest of these is the Portage Liederkranz, primarily 
a German music society, which has projected several enterprises of 
another nature. The society was organized December 31, 1856, with 
Robert Gropius, president; Charles Diedrich, secretary; Charles Moll, 
treasurer; John B. Bassi, conductor. In 1864 the Liederkranz purchased 
two lots on Conant Street, moved thereon a building, employed a German 
teacher and opened a select school. This enterprise not proving success- 
ful, in 1872 the building was sold to the city for an engine house. 
Thereafter the society confined its activities quite closely to social and 
musical matters, its annual balls being for many years marked events 
in German circles. Its regular membership is now about thirty-five, 
with the following officers; J. Sehnell, president; L. Rotter, vice 
president; John Diehl, treasurer; Rudolph Schroeder, secretary. 

•The National Verband 

In 1913 the German-Americans of Portage organized a local society 
of the National "Verband," whose objects are both patriotic and in 
furtherance of the interests of that element which wields so much good 
and sturdy influence in the community. Though so young, it has already 
reached a membership of more than one hundred. Alois Zienert is 
president ; John Diehl, vice president ; Ludwig Baerwolf , treasurer ; and 
J. Sehnell, secretary. 

Country Club op Portage 

The Country Club of Portage, which has about sixty members, was 
organized in 1906, and has forty acres of land on the north shores of 


Swan Lake. The property includes a hotel, five neat cottages, a com- 
mon dining-room and kitchen, and provision for fishing, bathing, golf, 
tennis, baseball, and everything providing for out-of-door amusement 
and invigoration. The presidents of the club have been T. H. Cochrane, 
F. E. Bronsou and J. H. Rogers. 

The Y. M. C. A. 

The Y. M. C. A. has an organization in Portage which is doing a 
good work. It opened a large room in the center of the business district, 
in 1909, and supplies the public with reading matter, games and facilities 
for exercising and bathing. 



First Settler — Wayne B. Dyer Describes the Village — Drake Suc- 
ceeds DicKASON — First Lawyer and First Doctor Office Together 
— James T. Lewis — Postmaster Whitney and "Old Hyson" — Lud- 
iNGTON Plat and Addition — First Hotel, Store and School — Mill 
Property Passes to J. S. JIanning — Columbus Becomes a Village 
— Incorporated as a City — City Departments and Activities — 
Electric Light and Waterworks — Fire Department — Free 
Public Library — The School System — History op the Schools — 
Present Graded System Established — William C. Leitsch — Con- 
gregational Church op Columbus — German Lutheran Church — 
German Methodists — English Methodists — The Catholic Church 
— Leading Lodges — First Columbus Banks — First National Bank 
— F.armers and Merchants Union Bank — Early Brewers — The 
Kurth Company — Columbus Canning Company. 

Columbus, the second city in size, importance and influence in Colum- 
bia County, is located in the extreme southeastern corner of its territory. 
To visitors it presents a clean, brisk, substantial appearance, mth its well- 
paved streets, its attractive city hall. County Training School and other 
modern buildings, and its handsome residences surrounded by spacious 
grounds. The residents of Columbus have spirit and perseverance, believe 
in their city and are "boomers" in the good sense. The general result, 
it will be admitted by both strangers and townsmen, is to give the 
impression that Columbus is more populous than it really is. It is 
unusually metropolitan for its size. 

First Settler at Columbus 

The first settler to locate within the present municipal limits of 
Columbus was Elbert Dickason. In 1839, he came as the owner of a 
considerable tract of land on the west side of the Crawfish River, which 


he had purchased from Lewis Ludington, one of that great family of 
lumbermen whose tracks are found in so many sections of Wisconsin and 

Lewis Ludington Becomes Owner of the Town 

Erecting a log cabin on his land not far from the present site of the 
St. Paul Railroad depot, Major Dickason commenced to dam the Crawfish 
and build a sawmill. He evidently came to stay, for he brought with him 
a herd of cattle, a number of horses and a few wagons, with men to assist 
him in his work. But his first winter at the site of Columbus was so 
severe that most of his live stock died, his stock of food reached starva- 
tion dimensions, most of his help left him and he was solidly "down on 
his luck. ' ' This seemed to be the beginning of misfortunes which attended 
him during the succeeding four years. He finished the sawmill, and got 
it in operation, but he was unable to meet his payments on the land which 
he had purchased on time from Mr. Ludington and, like man}- another 
pioneer worker, passed over the fruits of his labors to a "watchful 
waiter." It is said that the major received $200 in cash from Mr. Lud- 
ington for all his rights in the property upon which he had spent nearly 
ten thousand dollars, and then departed for his new location at Duck 
Creek, now Wyoeena. 

Wayne B. Dyer Describes the "Village" 

Wajnie B. Dyer, afterward of Durand, Pepin County. Wisconsin, 
came to Wisconsin from the East in the month of August, 1843. When 
he passed over the present site of Columbus, the log cabin of Major 
Dickason on the Crawfish and that of Hiram Allen, not far from the 
mill, constituted the entire Village of Columbus. Mr. Dyer relates an 
incident in the experience of Dickason which illustrates the trials he 
bore so patiently. Once the major got out of hay and was compelled to 
drive his cattle to a point near Beaver Dam, and chop down elm and 
basswood trees for them to browse upon. This operation was called 
"grubbing it," and what is now known as Beaver Dam was than called 

In that same spring of 1843, the deer lay dead upon the Crawfish — 
starved to death, because the deep snow shut them away from their usual 
browsing grounds. Dyer was a great hunter and trapper in those days 
and killed many a deer in the vicinity of Columbus. Indeed, for years 
after his arrival he could start out almost any day and return with one. 
His lodge was seldom without venison. After Columbus had grown to 


be quite a village, he saw several deer run across its main street. He 
trapped many otter also, in the early days along the Crawfish. 

Mr. Dyer relates that Major Diekason passed through Otsego on his 
way to locate at Duck Creek, the next day after the former settled in his 
new home at Columbus, and he took a primitive dinner with him. 

Drake Succeeds Dickason 

Jeremiah Drake, as the agent of Mr. Ludington, succeeded Dickason 
in the management of the property on the Crawfish, and built the first 
frame house in the place. From 1841 to 1845, the arrival of strangers 
was of almost daily occurrence, and many of them came to remain. 
Among the prominent settlers of that period were : 1841, Jacob Dickason, 
brother of the major, who settled near the latter 's cabin; 1842, Noah 
Dickason, James Shackley, S. W. St. John and Mr. Baldwin ; 1843, H. W. 
McCafferty, H. A. Whitney, Jeremiah and W. Drake, who located just 
outside the village limits ; 1844, Jacob Smith and the Stroud family ; 1845, 
James T. Lewis, J. C. Axtell, D. E. Bassett, J. E. Arnold, Warren Loomis, 
W. C. Spencer, Jesse Rowell, E. Thayer and W. M. Clark. 

First Lawyer and First Doctor Office Together 

Of the foregoing, Mr. Lewis was the first attorney and Dr. Axtell, the 
first physician. These pioneer professional men got busy at once, as was 
the custom, and, to economize, occupied the same office for some time. 
There was another good reason why they should thus be associated ; they 
were friends, and both young men of unusual talents. 

James T. Lewis 

In view of the unusual prominence attained in after years by the 
former, the continuous stream of the narrative takes a turn at this point 
to eddy around the personality of Wisconsin's War Governor. 

After Mr. Lewis came into national prominence, the old Columbus 
settlers enjoyed describing the young lawyer as he appeared in July, 
1845, upon his arrival from his eastern home. He had left Orleans 
County, N. Y., a short time before, to find a home in the West. Arrived 
at Buffalo, he and Dr. Axtell made the trip around the lakes to Detroit 
together, and there parted. Shortly after, Lewis landed at Kenosha, 
and purchased a "mount" for thirty dollars — a scrawny Indian pony 
who was used to traveling in the Wisconsin of those days. On this steed. 


able if not always willing, he skirted the shores of Lake Michigan toward 
Green Bay. 

At that date Oshkosh had made a slight start, and Neenah and 
Appleton were in embryo. Fond du Lac was a small village, Milwaukee 
an infant city, and Green Bay still not far advanced beyond the grade 
of a trading post. Green Bay did not appeal to the horseman, and he 
turned his steed southward. At Fond du Lac, Lewis was told that he 
would find another village about a dozen miles away, which proved to 
be the Waupun of the present. Having ridden about the distance men- 
tioned he inquired at a log house by the wayside how much farther it 
was to the village, and was told that he was in the very midst of it. 
As this did not seem to promise well for the practice of the law, the 
young man pushed on to the real little village of Beaver Dam. There 
he heard of a road which led to another settlement to the southwest. 
Along it he made his way to the present City of Columbus. He found 
four houses on the very site and a few more in its immediate vicinity. 

It was upon the termination of this journey on the travel-worn 
pony, with the muddy and the torn evidences of the trail and the bush 
all over and about him, that the few who had preceded him obtained 
their first impressions of the future governor, which, in after years, 
the}' pictured \\ith such a mixture of gusto and pride. 

Bj' a welcome coincidence, Dr. Axtell arrived the same day as Lewis, 
his route having been by way of Detroit and Chicago, and thence, across 
country, to Colmnbus. The doctor, according to tradition, was both a 
handsome and a brainy man, and shared the admiration of the pioneer 
villagers with his friend Lewis. 

For nearly sixty years thereafter Columbus was the home of James 
T. Lewis, and year after year his strong and fine character threw out its 
roots into the hearts and minds of the people, his influence spreading 
far beyond the bounds of Columbia County. At his death, on August 4, 
1904, no man in Wisconsin had a stronger hold upon the affections and 
confidence of its people than the old War Governor. A few months 
before his death his friend and fellow-worker in Wisconsin affairs, 
A. J. Turner, paid him this tribute : 

"In the quiet of his old 'colonial' home, picturesque in its environs, 
and hallowed by many sacred memories, Wisconsin's venerable War 
Governor still lives, nearing his eighty-fifth year, enjoying the repose 
earned by a long and honorable life, tenderly cared for by loved and 
loving children, amid troops of friends, serenely but bravely awaiting 
'the inevitable hour.' 

"James Taylor Lewis, the subject of this sketch, a native of Claren- 
don, Orleans County, New York, was born October 30, 1819. From 


the union of Shubael Lewis and Eleanor Robertson, seven children were 
bom, and of these James was the third child and third son. His 
paternal grandfather, Samuel Lewis, was a native of New England and 
lived for a time at Brimfield, Mass. This branch of the family is of 
English lineage, with probably a slight admixture of Welsh. From the 
maternal side he received a strong infusion of Scotch blood — a blood 
prepotent to a high degree in its assimilation with others with which it 

"There is, however, little authentic history touching the first migra- 
tion of the family from the Old World. At all events the record is so 
hidden in the far past that for present purposes the Lewis family may 
rightly be considered as: 

" 'Native here, 
And to the manner bom.' 

"The Lewises about whom we are immediately concerned, were first 
known in the New York village already mentioned. The family must 
have been fairly well-to-do, for we learn that James had completed the 
English and classic courses at Clarkson College and Clinton Seminary, 
New York, and was prepared for admission to the bar before he had 
attained his twenty-sixth year. 

"As early as the year 1845, anticipating by iiian.y years the wisdom 
and importance of Horace Greeley's advice to young men about going 
west, he removed to Wisconsin and opened a law ofiice in Columbus, 
where for nearly sixty years he has since resided. The following year 
he returned to his old home and was married to Miss Orlina M. Sturges, 
the beautiful and cultured daughter of a prominent merchant and es- 
teemed citizen of Clarendon. From this marriage four children were 
born, Henry S., the eldest, who died in infancy ; Selden J., so named 
for his father's early friend and benefactor, the eminent Judge Selden, 
and sometime governor of New York; Charles R., named for the late 
Hon. Charles D. Robinson of Green Bay, an esteemed friend of the 
family in pioneer days in Wisconsin, and Mrs. Anna L. Dudley, the 
accomplished wife of Mr. Frank Dudley, long a highly trusted official of 
the Chicago, jMilwaukee & St. Paul Railway Company in Chicago. The 
elder son, Selden, is a prominent lawyer and much respected citizen of 
Vermillion, South Dakota; Charles R., the younger son, has for many 
years held important and responsible official positions with the St. Paul 
Railway in Minneapolis. 

"Declining tempting inducements to open a law office in a neigh- 
boring town near his old home in New York, young Lewis, with his bride. 


removed in July, 1846, to Columbus, as already stated, where he has 
since resided. This singularly happy union was severed, however, by the 
death of Mrs. Lewis, in the year 1903, who died profoundly mourned 
by all who had known her in life, and their name was legion. 

' ' Upon his arrival in the territory, Mr. Lewis, at once, began the prac- 
tice of law in the inferior and nisi prius courts and was early admitted 
to the bar of the supreme court. While Wisconsin was still a territory, 
he was chosen probate or county judge, and a few years later was elected 
district attorney for Columbia County. Our young attorney's law prac- 
tice was early interrupted by calls to the public service, and the allure- 
ments and fascinations offered by business inducements in a new country. 
In 1848 he was chosen a member of the second constitutional conven- 
tion and is probably the last living signer of that organic act. He was 
less than thirty years of age when he sat as a member of this convention. 
In 1852 he was elected a member of the lower house of the State Legis- 
lature and the following year was chosen a state senator. As a legisla- 
tor he took an active and prominent part, having a place on many im- 
portant committees. It was during the session of 1853 that the senate 
sat as a court of impeachment upon the trial of Levi Hubbell, .judge of 
the second judicial circuit. The trial attracted univei-sal interest because 
of the prominence of the defendant and the eminence of the attorneys 
engaged on either side. Judge Hubbell was acquitted after a prolonged 
trial, Senator Lewis voting for acquittal. 

"In 1854 Senator Lewis was elected lieutenant governor and as such 
it became incumbent upon him to preside over the senate, of which he 
had so recently been a member. As presiding officer of the body he 
was specially distinguished for fairness, impartiality and uniform cour- 
tesy. His term as lieutenant governor ended, he resumed his private 
business at Columbus, which he continued uninterrupted till the outbreak 
of the Civil War. Hitherto he had been a consistent and steadfast dem- 
ocrat of the Silas Wright school, but at the opening of hostilities, he 
soon became restive under party restraints and early repudiated what 
he conceived to be a lack of frankness and unquestioned loyalty on the 
part of the dominant leaders of the democratic party. Indignantly de- 
claring that 'he who is not a faithful friend of the government of his 
eoimtry, in this trying hour, is no friend of mine,' he at once threw 
the weight of Ms name and influence in support of the war, holding 
that partisanship should abate in such a fearful emergency. It was the 
course of thousands ! 

"In the autumn of 1861 he was nominated and elected secretary of 
state, on the so-called Union Republican ticket, and at the following 
election, 1863, was chosen governor by the .same party, with the largest 


majority ever given in the state to that time, and for many years there- 

"Since his retirement from the executive office, January, 1866, Gov- 
ernor Lewis had devoted his attention to private business, the education 
of his children, the up-building of his home city and the promotion of 
educational and church enterprises. He has also traveled extensively 
abroad and throughovit the United States. A few years ago he made 
a tour of the world, visiting all parts of the Orient and Europe. Since 
quitting the governorship he has never sought, but has often declined, 
public office, but, meanwhile, he has maintained a keen interest in public 
affairs, abating nothing within reason that would promote the success 
of the Republican party to which organization he has persistently ad- 
liered since the great war between the states. 

"His life-span has covered the most wonderful period in the annals of 
the world and is almost co-extensive with that of the Republic itself. 
Governor Lewis was born in the same year with Victoria, and during 
the first term of President Monroe. At liis birth, Washington had been 
in his grave scarcely twenty years. He has lived under the rule of 
twenty-two presidents and enjoyed a personal acquaintance with most of 
them. He was seven years old when Adams and Jefferson died. In his 
youth he knew many of the heroes of the Revolution and must have 
known some of the signers of the Declaration of Independence as the 
youth of today know him or as they know the surviving leaders of the 
Civil war. He was helping on the Constitution of Wisconsin when the 
younger Adams fell stricken upon the floor of the old House of Repre- 
sentatives, and was thirty-three when Clay and Webster died. Far 
within his lifetime Wisconsin has grown from a -nalderness to an empire 
of more than two and a half million souls. In the work of her upbuilding. 
Governor Lewis contributed much ; few more, and fewer still, who have 
more fully earned the repose he is now enjoying as he serenely contem- 
plates the past and hopefully faces the future. 

"Governor Lewis, in his best days, laid no claim to great oratorical 
gifts, but, as Jeremy Taylor once said of another, he had always "the 
endearment of prudent and temperate speech," and as Lamartine said 
of Mirabeau, "his genius was the infallibility of good sense." However, 
the governor possessed the power of strong and fluent speech and of 
succinct and cogent statement far beyond the average of men in public 

" It is the hope of his friends that he may yet live on for several years 
with no further impairment of his powers. "Whether this hope is to be 
realized or not, all rejoice that he is passing to the close, spared the fate 
of so many public men of going to the grave full of grief and disap- 


pointment. Such was the fate of Seward and of Greeley; more cer- 
tainly was it true of Blaine, the greatest partisan leader since Andrew 
Jackson, and yet he died, if not without a party, full of resentment 
towards that he had so long led. During his last days, it is said of 
Sumner that he passed to his seat in the Senate as to a solitude. While 
dying, an open book was found upon his table with this passage marked 
by his own hand : 

' ' ' Would I were dead ! if God 's good will were so : 
For what is in this world, but care and woe.' 
"The li-st of statesmen dying heartbroken and disappointed, could be 
extended almost indefinitely, but the subject of the foregoing sketch has 
no place on it. His life has been one full of hope and not of despair. 
Whether his remaining days be few or many, his name will long abide 
a cherished memory with the people he served so well. ' ' 

Postmaster Whitney and ' ' Old Hyson ' ' 

H. A. Whitney, who was a co-worker with Major Dickason in building 
the dam and sawmiU, also opened the first tavern and store in Columbus. 
Late in 1845 a postoffice was established at Columbus with a weekly mail, 
and there was an animated contest as to whom should be appointed post- 
master. The friends of Mr. "\Yliitney rallied to his support, and Colonel 
Drake, who had succeeded Major Dickason as the developer of the Lud- 
ington interests, was his strongest competitor. Whitney received the 
appointment. Shortly afterward he went to the pineries on business, 
and in his absence the duties of the office were performed by Sylvester 
Corbin, familiarly known in after years as "Old Hyson." 

Corbin carried the mail about the place in his hat, except when out 
with his gun hunting prairie chickens. On such occasions he would leave 
the contents of the postoffice with Governor Lewis. The first postoffice 
was kept in a low, flat-roofed building which stood nearly opposite the 
site of the structui-e long afterward erected and known as Shaefer's 
brick block. F. F. Farnliara, who came to Columbus about this time, 
thus describes it : " The apartment was partitioned by the aid of blank- 
ets, and in the room lay 'Old Hyson' prone upon a bed shivering with 
ague. In one corner stood a barrel of whiskey, and in another was a 
7x9 glass box, the contents of which constituted the postoffice, which 
the inquirer after mail rummaged at his leisure." 

Ludington's Plat and Addition 

Ludington's Plat was the first official evidence of the existence of 
Columbus, and it was recorded by Lewis Ludington in the Brown County 


archives at Green Bay, on the 11th of November, 1844. His first addi- 
tion of October, 1850, was recorded in Columbia County, which had 
been organized three years before. 

The original plat of the village presented a fine picture on paper. 
Passing through the eastern limits, the Crawfish marked its winding 
covirse. Leading away to the southwest from the river's oak- fringed 
banks to the borders of clustering groves in the distance were broad 
avenues, with other wide streets crossing them at right angles. Near 
the river's edge was an entire block marked "public square," and not 
far away a "park," " schoolhouse, " "church" and "hotel" — all dona- 
tions from the proprietor of the village. 

First Hotel, Store and School 

H. A. Whitney was the lueky possessor of the portion of the plat 
indicated as "hotel," comer of James and Ludington streets, and in 
the summer of 1844 he secured absolute title to it by building a tavern 
upon it. It was a one-and-a-half story frame, and most of the lumber 
which went into it was hauled from Aztalan. In the lower part 
Mr. Whitney kept a small stock of goods, his store. 

The school of the Ludington Plat did not materialize until 1846, 
when it was erected on Ludington Street, and the Congregationalists 
built the church in 1850 upon the land at the corner of Mill Street and 
Broadway, which Mr. Ludington had deeded to them. 

Mill Property Passes to J. S. Manning 

In the meantime the old mill property had passed out of the hands 
of Colonel Drake, the Ludington agent. Soon after getting his little 
sawmill in operation Major Dickason had put in a run of stone, and thus 
became the only miller for miles around. Wlien the Drake-Ludingtou 
management came into control in 1843, the grinding of grain was made 
the leading feature of the plant and another run of stone added. Peo- 
ple came from Madison, Stevens Point and other remote settlements to 
the Columbus mill, and so extensive was the custom that some of the 
grists would have to wait two weeks before their "turn" would be 
reached. When J. S. Manning purchased the plant in August, 1849, 
it was one of the busiest mills in Central Wisconsin. Mr. Manning put 
in new machinery and otherwise improved it, and in after years the 
water power, as well as the grinding facilities, was kept up to the re- 
quirements of the trade. 


Columbus Becomes a Village 

Columbus continued to grow in every particular, and by the early 
'60s it became apparent that the place was read.y for a local government 
separate from the township organization. The villagers had participated 
in town ati'airs, and the townsmen had turned about and mixed with 
village matters. But the Columbus people who had become a consoli- 
dated majority commenced to chafe to the point of becoming sore, and 
found their remedy in May, 1864, by adopting the village form of 

Columbus was incorporated as a village under legislative act, ap- 
proved March 30, 1864, and it was provided that its officers should be a 
president, four trustees, one marshal and one treasurer, to be elected 
annually on the first Tuesday in May. The election was held accord- 
ingly, with the following result: R. W. Chadbourn, president; F. P. 
Farnham, Silas Axtell, John Ilasey and Thomas Smith, trustees: Mile 
J. Ingalls, treasurer ; B. F. Hart, marshal. 

Incorporated as a City 

From the organization of Columbus as a village until its incorporation 
as a city in 1874, R. W. Chadbourn, W. W. Drake, F. P. Farnham, Daniel 
E. Bassett, W. M. Griswold, J. S. Manning and Frank Higgins served as 
presidents of the board of trustees, and during the entire decade Charles 
L. Dering acted as clerk. 

Toward the last of January, 1874, President Prank Huggins and 
Trustee E. E. Chapin, of the village board, repaired to Madison with a 
petition of the villagers to the State Legislature asking to he incorporated 
as a city. The memorial, with a bill, was introduced to the Senate on 
February 3rd, and, after proper preliminaiy action, was printed. The 
latter was taken back to Columbus for correction and amendment. 
After being somewhat changed, notwithstanding opposition from the 
town Board of Supervisors, the incorporating act passed both houses of 
the Legislature, receiving the governor's signature February 26, 1874. 

The corporation area was divided into three wards and municipal 
elections fixed for the first Tuesday of April. Provision was made for 
the following officers : I\Iayor, treasurer, assessor and police justice, for 
the city at large; one alderman and one supervisor for each ward, as 
well as a justice of the peace and a constable. An amendment to the 
charter repealed the clause providing for a general police justice, and 
the duties formerly devolving upon that official were divided among the 
ward justices. 


The first officers, elected in April, were as follows: L. J. Sawyer, 
mayor; H. Rowell, police justice; H. D. James, treasurer; John C. 
Hoppin, assessor. C. L. Bering was chosen by the Common Council as 
city clerk and 0. M. Bering, marshal. 

The incorporation of the City of Columbus was an event which 
called for renewed enterprise, and its growth into a stirring, pro- 

i . J 

City Hall and Auditorium, Columbus 

gressive municipality is told in the details of its present life and of the 
institutions founded and developed by its citizens. 

City Bepartments and Activities 

The municipal activities of Columbus are now centered in its hand- 
some city hall, completed in 1892. It accommodates the various city 
officei-s and houses the fire apparatus, and its upper floors are mainly 
occupied by an attractive auditorium which will seat nearly one thousand 


Electric Light and Waterworks 

The electric light and waterworks plant is at the foot of Water 
Street, along the right of way of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul 
Railway Company. Columbus was one of the first cities in Central Wis- 
consin to adopt the system of electric white lights for its business streets. 
The cluster of lights ou either side of James and Ludington streets give 
its down-town district a cheerful and business-like appearance. The 
supply of water is furnished from three artesian wells, and the power 
house at the dam sends it through the mains with sufficient force to 
furnish, with the apparatus at the city hall, adequate fire protection. 
Both the light plant and the waterworks are o\\aied by the municipality 
and are more that .self-sustaining, with very reasonable charges for water 
and light. 

The year 1877 was a season of great activity in the public affairs of 
Columbus. It had been a city since 1874, and several projects which 
had been under way culminated in that year. The old Methodist Church 
building, which had been moved to Broadway and converted into a 
public hall, was transformed into an opera house in 1877 ; which was 
the predecessor of the auditorium in the city hall building. 

Fire Department 

Among other important clauses in the city charter was one providing 
for the establishment of a fire department. Accordingly, on December 
26, 1877, the City Council entered into a contract with the Babcock 
Manufacturing Company of Chicago for two extinguishers and a hook 
and ladder truck. A department had already been organized with 
L. J. Sawyer as chief, and the Germania Fire Company, Hook and 
Ladder Company No. 1 and Columbia Fire Company had been formed — 
all within the year 1877. 

Free Public Library 

On the 20th of January, 1877, a meeting of prominent citizens was 
held at the opera house for the purpose of organizing a library associ- 
ation. This was but preliminary to the gathering of a week after, at 
which Matthew Lowth, a settler of 1851 and a leading citizen of public 
affairs, was chosen president; E. S. Griswold, vice president; C. L. 
Dering, secretary, and L. R. Rockwell, treasurer. At the same meeting 
ex-Governor Lewis donated fifty-four volumes; E. S. Griswold tendered 



the use of two rooms in his brick block (which was accepted) and Miss 
Mattie Walsh was appointed librarian. 

This was the origin of the Free Public Library, which was founded 
in 1901. Largely through the influence of the Woman's Club, Andrew 
J. Carnegie was induced to donate $10,000 for the founding of a library 
under his well-known conditions, and a site for a building was pur- 
chased opposite the city hall. It was a beautiful little structure which 
was thrown open to the public in November, 1912. The regular annual 
appropriation voted by the City Council for its support is $1,500. ilost 
of the standard magazines, several Wisconsin newspapers, and a good 

Columbus High School, 1895-1910 

selection of 5,800 books are provided for patrons. The library is in 
charge of Miss Nellie A. Loomis, who has had the position since 1908. 

The School System 

The 545 pupils connected with the public system of education pro- 
vided by the City of Columbus are accommodated in one of the most 
substantial and attractive buildings for the purpose in Columbia County. 
The building, which is of cream brick, is located in a city block, the 
entire property being valued at $90,000. Professor R. L. Heindel, head 
of the city system, has under him 145 pupils in the high school and 400 
in the grammar department. Included in the scope of the curriculum 
are Latin and German, music and drawing, domestic science, and manual 
and vocational training. 


The Union School building consists of two parts — the old High 
School, completed in 1895 and now housing the kindergarten and two 
grammar grades, and the 1910 structure, in which are the present High 
School pupils and those of six grammar grades. It is a far cry from the 
little frame schoolhouse erected on Ludington Street in 1846 to the 
massive Union liuilding of 1895-1910; but, in its day, the former was 
just as important to the progress of the primitive town as the latter 
is to the development of the larger and more finished commimity. 

History of the School 

In November, 1849, a meeting was held at that tiny schoolhouse 
which resulted in the formation of the first district, which embraced the 
present city. Robert Mills was elected director; J. T. Lewis, treasurer, 
and H. S. Haskell, clerk. From a report made by the district clerk to 
the town superintendent, in the following year (1850) it appears that the 
average attendance of scholars in the district was sixty-four. 

It is interesting to know that such as the following taught in that 
schoolhouse on Ludington Street, during the '50s : Garrit T. Thorn, 
afterward a senator from Jefferson County; John A. Elliot, once state 
auditor of Iowa, and Laura D. Ross, who afterward practiced medicine 
in Milwaukee, married Dr. E. B. Wolcott, one of the leading anny 
surgeons in the Civil war, and herself became a widely known advocate 
for the rights and real progress of her sex, as well as an able surgeon 
and medical practitioner. 

The old Union School building was completed in 1858, after an 
unusually exciting contest between the progressives and conservatives 
covering a period of nearly three years. 

Present Graded System Established 

The gi'aded system of the city schools was introduced in the fall of 
1874, following the incorporation of Columbus as a municipality. The 
act of incorporation of February separated the system from the juris- 
diction of the county superintendent, and in July following the common 
council elected a board of education, which promulgated the graded 
system. On the 5th of March, 1875, after the system had been intro- 
duced, the State Legislature enacted a general law authorizing the 
establishment of free high schools, and on August 9th following, the 
voters of Columbus adopted its provisions. The board of education 
experienced some difficulty in attempting the organization of the new 
system, but finally succeeded in January, 1876. The first to graduate 


from the city free high school was Miss Louie Adams, in June, 1877. 
The first board of education elected under the graded system was 
as follows : John Quiney Adams, president ; James T. Lewis and E. E. 
Chapin ; S. 0. Burrington, superintendent. 

William C. Leitsch 

One of the most prominent citizens of Columbus, and who stands 
peculiarly as a representative of the municipality itself, is William C. 
Leitsch, an advisory editor of this work. He was born at Columbus, May 
31, 1867, of German parents. After attending the public schools and 
the Watertowi College, he was employed for some years by a Chicago 
clothing house. In 1893 he took up the study of law and in 1896 was 
graduated from the University of Wisconsin with the class of that year. 
He immediately located in Columbus and has practiced there ever since. 

Mr. Leitsch has helcf the following public offices: Mayor, 1898-1901; 
chairman of the Columbia County Board; president of the Columbus 
School Board; president of the Water and Light Board; chairman of 
the Columbia Comity Republican Committee. He has also been president 
of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities. The magnitude of the can- 
ning industries are known to all, and in that industrial field Mr. Leitsch 
is one of the most prominent men in the country. He is one of the 
organizers of the Columbus Canning Company, which commenced busi- 
ness in 1900 and is now operating the largest pea plant in the world. 
Mr. Leitsch has been president of the company since its organization 
and is now its general manager; also president of the Wisconsin Pea 
Canners' Association and president of the National Canuers' Associ- 
ation which has its main office in Washington, D. C. He is a director of 
the First National Bank of Columbus, and altogether a citizen of 
breadth of mind, activities and attainments. Mr. Leitsch was married 
to Adelaide Brown Stoppenbaeh at Jefferson, Wisconsin, in June, 1900. 
They have no children. 

Congregational Church of Columbus 

The Congregationalists of Columbus were the first to organize into 
a society, coming together January 26, 1850, under Rev. A. Montgomery 
as chairman of the council, and J. Q. Adams as clerk. Letters from 
different churches were presented by James Campbell, Mrs. Julia Camp- 
bell, Richard Stratton, Mrs. Polly Stratton, Emily Stratton, Mrs. 
Asenath Stratton, Mrs. Helen S. Rosenkrans, Ellen Hagerman, Maria 
Hagerman and Mrs. Hayden, the foregoing constituting the First Con- 


gregational Church of Columbus. Soon afterward it became a member 
of the Madisou district, but in August, 1852, it was voted to change the 
relations of the church from that district to the Fox River Presbytery. 
In the following November the Presbyterian form of government was 
formally adopted, and three elders of the faith were chosen. Thus 
matters progi-essed until a majority of the members withdrew and organ- 
ized a separate Presbyterian society in 1866. 

In the meantime the original Congregational Church had erected a 
house of worship (in the early '90s) on the corner of Mill Street and 
Broadway, on the lot donated by James Ludington, and under the 
pastorate of Rev. C. E. Rosenkraus its temporal and spiritual affairs 
flourished. He remained with the society until 1858, and was followed 
by Rev. T. C. Melvin. 

When the Presbyterians organized into a separate society they made 
pi'eparations to build, and in the fall of 1867 their church edifice was 
completed on Broadway. It was opened under the pastorate of Rev. E. 
F. Fish. 

In 1874 the two societies reunited, the Congregationalists sold their 
church and, under the name of the Olivet Church Society, services 
were proposed to be resumed in the former Presbyterian edifice on 
Broadway, but there was a misunderstanding as to the control of the 
property, and the Presbyterians retained it. 

Olivet Society (the Congregationalists) immediately proceeded to 
build another church, at the corner of Spring and Prairie streets, which 
was completed early in 1877. The present society is in a flourishing 
condition, with Rev. Henry Kerman as pastor, having a membership 
of 150. 

German Lutheran Church 

The German Lutheran Church of Columbus, which has been under 
the pastorate of Rev. D. H. Koch for thirty years, is the strongest re- 
ligious body in the county and one of the most influential in Central 
Wisconsin. It is a noteworthy representation of German perseverance, 
thrift and conscientiousness, as applied to the spiritual things of life. 
In 1855 a number of German families settled in and near Columbus, 
the most influential of whom were from the Grand Duchy of Mecklen- 
burg. They were all Lutherans and soon got together to form a society 
for worship. Shortly afterward a Rev. Sans, of Watertown, came 
among them as a temporary preacher, followed in the same year by 
Pastor Oswald, their first regular clergyman. Rev. A. Renter followed, 
and the new arrivals from Germany so increased the congregation that 


the necessity for a church edifice became apparent. J. T. Lewis do- 
nated a lot in West Columbus for a site, and on May 3, 1858, while 
Rev. Renter was still pastor, articles of agreement were signed by which 
was formed the German Evangelical Lutheran Zion's Society of Colum- 
bus and vicinity. An incorporation was then effected with A. Renter as 
pastor, Joseph Prien as president of the board of trustees, and Christian 
Mueller, secretary. 

The building of a church was commenced on the donated site, but 
a majority of the congregation deemed another location more desirable ; 
so that the lot given by Mr. Lewis was sold, and Lot 1, Block 13, Birds- 
ey's Addition (donated by the owner of that ti-act) was accepted. The 
church erected thereon was completed in 1859. In 1866 a purchase was 
made of another lot in Birdsey's Addition upon which stood a residence, 
that building being used as the first parsonage. Two years later the 
first church edifice was moved to the site of the present massive house of 
worship, and all the real estate held by the society at the other location 
was sold. A large addition to the church building was completed in 
1869, and still the builder could not keep pace with the increase of mem- 
bership and demand for religious accommodations. 

In December, 1877, the congregation voted for the erection of a new 
chvirch, and its cornerstone was laid June 2, 1878, on the Sunday called 
Exaudi. On the third of the following November the building was dedi- 
cated in the presence of a large assemblage from Beaver Dam, Lowell, 
Waterloo and Portage. As completed, the church was an edifice of 
cream brick, trimmed with red brick, 70x40 feet, with a belfry 125 feet 
high. Several additions and renovations have since been made, greatly 
increasing its seating capacity, as well as keeping it attractive and 

The 1,600-pound bell in this church has a history. In 1873 the 
metal from which it is made was presented to the society by the Emperor 
of Germany. On the 4th of July, 1876 (the Centennial anniversary), 
there arrived at New York from Berlin one six-pound brass cannon and 
four other pieces of ordnance, consigned to the Lutheran congregation 
of Columbus. They were of French make captured during the German 
conquest of Alsace-Lorraine. They reached Columbus in February, 
1877, and in April, 1878, were reshipped to Baltimore, where they 
were recast into a bell, bearing the following inscription: "I call the 
living ones ; I mourn the dead ones ; I break the lightning. ' ' 

In 1884, six years after the dedication of the original church, 
Rev. D. H. Koch assumed the great charge which he still can-ies. He 
has worked early and late, and has seen his society grow from 239 to 
437 families. Those under his pastorate number 1,800 souls and 1,268 


actual coTnmuiiicants, and attend the services of the church from points 
fifteen miles distant. 

Connected with the society is a large parochial school, founded in 
1858, which has its own building separate from the grounds occupied 
by the church and the parsonage. It has also a strong Maennerchor, 
which has been in existence since that year, a flourishing women's 
society, Bible class, and other auxiliaries which add to its influence and 
keep its spirit active and strong. 

German Methodists 

The German Metliodists of Columbus have been organized into a 
local church since 1855. Rev. Charles Kluckkorn and Rev. John Wester- 
field, missionaries, had preached for three years previously, and it was 
during the ministrations of the latter that the Columbus German Meth- 
odists were separated from their Baraboo brethren for church purposes. 
The first trustees of the new society were Louis Kenzel, John Miller, 
J. Battels, J. Fuhrman and Frederick Topp. In 1866 the society erected 
its first church, but the rapid growth of membei-ship made it necessary 
to build a larger edifice in 1874. The German Methodists continue to 
prosper as churchmen and women. Rev. C. F. Henke, who has supplied 
their spiritual needs for four years, is in charge of a church which has 
a membership of 275. 

English Methodists 

The first meetings of Methodists in the vicinity of Columbus, and 
perhaps in Columbia County, were held in 1845 at what is now Fountain 
Prairie, which was included in a circuit comprising Waterloo, Aztalan 
and Watertown. Various circuit preachers came to Watertown before 
a little society was organized by the Rev. N. S. Green. Along in the 
late '50s the Columbus Society was separated from the other points in 
the circuit, and in 1859 a church edifice was dedicated by Rev. H. C. 
Tilton. The church still occupied by the society was dedicated October 
26, 1873, by Rev. C. H. Fowler. Rev. R. W. Plannette is the pastor 
now in charge. Membership of the English Methodist Church is about 

The Catholic Church 

St. Jerome's Catholic Church had its origin in the ministrations of 
Rev. Martin Kundig, who came to the supporters of that faith in 


Columbus as early as 1856. Previous to that time the Catholics of the 
place had attended St. Columbkill's Church in the Town of Elba, Dodge 
County. Early in the spring of that year work was commenced upon 
the foundation of a church ediiice on a lot donated by A. P. Birdsey, and 
in June of that year the cornerstone was laid. For want of funds work 
was suspended for about eight years, and a permanent house of worship 
was not completed until 1866. The first resident pastor was Rev. James 
O'Keefe, who succeeded to the charge in 1868. Rev. E. McGuirk (who 
had served the church as a missionary), Rev. E. Gray, Rev. Henry 
Roche and others labored for the parish and the faith with good results. 
In 1879, under the last named, a much needed addition to the building 
was made. The present edifice was erected in 1893, Rev. Henry R. 
Murphy, still in charge of St. Jerome's, assuming his duties in July of 
that year, The membership is 126, and his long and faithful service has 
been amply rewarded. 

Leading Lodges 

Columbus has a number of flourishing lodges and societies, the oldest 
of which is Columbus Lodge No. 75, A. F. & A. M., organized June 12, 
1856. Its first officers were: M. Adams, W. M. ; N. Sawyer, S. W.; 

E. Churchill, J. W. ; J. A. Erhart, treasurer; B. E. Johnson, secretary. 
Those serving at present are as follows : John T. Pick, W. M. ; Fred A. 
Stare, S. W. ; Oscar Wiener, J. W. ; G. N. Shepard, treasurer; Julius 
Henricksen, secretary. 

The Modern Woodmen of America were organized September 29, 
1887, with twenty members and the following officers: L. J. Dinsmore, 
V. C; E. Churchill, W. A.; J. R. Decker, banker; C. E. Eaton, clerk;. 

F. 0. Goodspeed, escort; Charles Prime, watchman; Charles Petero, 
sentry. The first death in the camp was that of Jerome Smith, the 
victim of a runaway accident April 18, 1894. Present officers: John 
Pick, V. C. ; Fred Hurd, W. A. ; Edward Pietzner, banker; H. C. Lange, 
clerk; S. M. Barraclough, escort; C. M. Christiensen, watchman; A. H. 
Sydow, sentry. The membership of the camp is 200. 

Alpha Lodge No. 110, K. of P., was organized January 17, 1893. It 
has a membership of seventy-four, with the following officers : John L. 
Albright, C. C. ; Rodney Shepard, V. C. ; Martin Weidemann, prelate ; 
Moses Jones, M. of W. ; F. A. Chadbourn, M. of E. ; William Amrein, 
M. at A. ; H. V. Eiehberg, M. of F. ; H. F. Eichberg, K. of R. & S. ; 
E. C. Arndt, grand representative; F. A. Chadbourn, deputy G. C. 


First Columbus Banks 

Isaiah Robinson carried on the first money exchange in Columbus, 
and in 1853 R. W. Chadbourn not only engaged in the banking business, 
but added real estate and insurance transactions to it. Mr. Chadbourn 
finally cut off all but banking, and in 1855 obtained a regular charter. 

W. L. Lewis established himself as a banker in December, 1856. 
With Mr. Lewis were interested C. C. and James Barnes. About 1859 
the bank became the property of Willard Scott and Vosburg Sprague, 
under whose management it ceased to exist in 1861. 

First National Bank 

On the 7th of September, of that year, Mr. Chadbourn moved his 
private bank into the building vacated by Messrs. Scott & Sprague, and 
in 1863 it was organized under the national banking law as the First 
National Bank of Columbus, with a paid-up capital of $50,000. It was 
No. 178, consequently one of the first institutions of the kind to be 
organized in the country. Its first officers as a national bank, were: 
R. W. Chadbourn, president; S. AY. Chadbourn, cashier, and besides 
these, as directors, WiUiam M. Griswold, George Griswold and F. F. 

The present officers of the First National Bank are Fi-ederick A. 
Chadbourn, son of its founder, president; E. H. Walker, vice president; 
J. R. Goff, cashier ; in addition to the foregoing, W. C. Leitsch and W. E. 
Griswold, directors. The institution has a paid-in capital of $75,000; 
surplus fund, $25,000; undivided profits, $10,078; circulation. $18,755; 
deposits, $546,949. To these figures, representing its condition March 4, 
1914, may be added the item of "cash on hand," $31,950. 

Farmers and Merchants Union Bank 

The Union Bank of Columbus was organized by John RusseU 
Wheeler in 1861 as a private banking institution, and incorporated as 
a state bank in 1862. It was capitalized at $100,000 for the purpose 
of is.suing currency. The original stockholders were : John R. Wheeler, 
Samuel Marshall, Charles F. Ilsley and J. Alder Ellis. First officers 
were: John R. Wheeler, president, and A. 6. Cook, cashier. It was 
reconverted into a private bank about 1864, John Russell Wlieeler be- 
coming the owner. He sold to Lester R. Rockwell, who continued the 
bank until his death in 1884, when he was succeeded by his son, R. S. 
Rockwell, and the name changed to Farmers & Merchants Union Bank. 


He was succeeded by John E. Wheeler and J. RusseU Wheeler, his son, 
in 1896. The bank continued as a private bank until 1903, when under 
the state banking laws it was incorporated as a state iustitutiou with a 
capital stock of $25,000. The officers at this time became John E. 
Wheeler, president; G. W. Shepard, vice president, and J. Russell 
Wheeler, cashier. Officers have continued the same until the present. 
The bank has passed through every panic within its life without its in- 
tegrity ever having been questioned. 

Eaklt Brewers 

Columbus has an array of lumber yards, warehouses and general 
stores, machinery agencies, and fine retail stores which would do credit 
to a much larger city. Of her industries, the chief, by far, are the 
plants of the Columbus Canning Company and the Kurth Company, 
brewers and maltsters. The Kurths were pioneer brewers, but not the 
first. Jacob Jussen preceded them by more than ten years, building a 
tiny brew house on the west bank of the Crawfish in 1848. In the fol- 
lowing year Louis Brauchle purchased it, and added to it, but neither 
this establishment nor the brewery founded by Stephen Fleck in 1869 
(known as the Farmers Brewery) was able to compete with the Kurth 
plant in the southwestern part of the village. 

The Kurth Company 

In 1859 Henry Kurth came to Columbus with his family and a 
brewer's boiler of four barrels' capacity. Six years later, in 1865, he 
was able to erect what was then a large brick brewery at a cost of 
nearly $4,000, and a year later put in a large boiler and made other im- 
provements. The original little brewery is now in the center of the 
Kurth plant on Ludiugton Street which covers nearly a city block. 

The founder of the business is dead, and in 1904 his sons and grand- 
children incorporated the Kurth Company with a capital stock of $400,- 
000 and the following officers: J. H. Kurth, president; C. Kurth, vice 
president and treasurer; Anna Kurth, secretary. Besides the plant at 
Columbus, in charge of John H. Kurth, the company operates a malt 
house in Milwaukee. The latter, which is managed by C. Kurth, was 
founded in 1911 and now has a capacity of 2,000,000 bushels. 

The premises on Ludington Street have a frontage of nearly three 
hundred feet, extending nearly the same distance back. The plant com- 
prises several large brick buildings — from three to six stories each — and 
all connected. 


The maiu building is devoted to the brewing business, containing 
all the bi-e\ving equipment, and their brewing kettle has a daily capacity 
of 100 barrels, being the largest in Columbia County. The ammonia ice 
plant in eouueetion has a capacity of seventy-five tons, using the direct 
expansion cooling system. 

The entire plant is operated by steam and electricity, as this com- 
pany has its own dynamo for producing both electric lights and power 
throughout the works. 

The malt house in the adjoining building has a capacity of 800,000 
bushels, which, with the malt house at Milwaukee, gives the company 
a malting capacity of 3,000,000 bushels, being one of the largest con- 
cerns of the kind in the entire country. Their supplies in the line of 
barley are purchased in quite large quantities from farmers throughout 
the surrounding country in Columbia, Dodge and Dane counties; also 
bought in carlots from Western points in Minnesota, Iowa, North and 
South Dakota, being one of the largest purchasers of barley in Wisconsin. 
They also buy hops in large quantities from the Western states — prin- 
cipally Oregon and Washington — and all consumed iu the brewing 

Their bottling works in connection with brewery have a large 
capacity, as about 35 per cent of their product is bottled. Their special 
brands are known as "Banner Export" and "Columbia," the former 
having been on the market for many years, and both of these brands 
have a first-class reputation. Their draught beer is put up in one brand of 
lager and is in excellent demand by saloons and dealers through the 

Columbus Canning Company 

Although the Columbus Canning Company was only established in 
1900, when it was also incorporated, it has the largest plant of the kind in 
the United States, and has increased its capital from $30,000 to $300,000, 
and founded a branch at Juneau, Dodge County. 

The plant is centrally located near the southeastern limits of Co- 
lumbus, close to the boundary line between Dodge and Columbia 
counties, the premises covering aji area equal to five or six city blocks, 
with a frontage of several hundred feet. 

The plant comprises nine buildings, including main factory building 
80x138 (devoted entirely to the canning business) ; also warehouse, 122x 
63 ; viner shed, 80x120 ; silo 45 feet in diameter ; garage building, 24x60 ; 
barn, 46x72; Badger warehouse (across river), 60x150; boiler house, 
42x58 ; and old warehouse, 36x72. 


The factory is completely equipped with modern machinery and 
appliances, operated by steam power and electricity, using three engines 
with a capacity of 85, 150, 30 horse-power, respectively ; also five boilers, 
two of which are 150 horse-power each and three of 60 horse-power 
each (or a total of 480 horse-power), while the electric power is obtained 
from the city plant, using from 8 to 10 motors, aggregating from 50 to 
60 horse-power. The works throughout are also lighted by electricity, 
using from 300 to 400 electric lights, this being one of the best lighted 
plants in the country. The works are provided throughout with a 
ij umber of the latest improvements, being recognized as the model plant 
of its kind in the state and one of the best in the United States. 

A force of from 400 to 500 hands are employed in the busy season, 
which lasts from four to six weeks, from the latter part of June to the 
early part of August. 

Special attention is given to canning peas, corn and pumpkins, 
making a specialty of peas, the company being the largest canners of 
peas in the state and one of the largest in the United States. Altogether 
3,200 acres of peas are grown for canning and seeding purposes. The 
works have a capacity of 250,000 cans per day or from 5,000,000 to 
7,000,000 cans during the .season ; also turn out canned corn and pumpkin 
in considerable quantities. 

The business is entirely wholesale, the company shipping to all parts 
of the United States and supplying the jobbing trade direct in the 
largest cities, including Chicago, Milwaukee, New York, Philadelphia, 
St. Louis, Kansas City, Cleveland, Boston, and other cities south and 

The officers are: W. C. Leitsch, president and general manager; 
A. H. Whitney, vice president; A. M. Bellaek, secretary; F. A. Chad- 
bourn, treasurer; J. R. Wheeler, auditor, and F. A. Stare, superintend- 
ent. These gentlemen, with others, comprise the board of directors, all 
residents of Columbus, and are also interested in other enterprises. 

The business since its inception has been growing rapidly, so much 
so that the company has been obliged to build a branch factory at 
Juneau (Dodge County) to assist in taking care of the increased busi- 
ness. At that plant a force of 140 hands are employed, and the combined 
annual output of the two plants is about 270,000 cases of twenty-four 
cans each. 



The Village of the Present — Wisconsin River Hydraulic Com- 
pany Fathers Kilboubn — Editor Holly Arrives — Village Plat 
Recorded — Sales op Lots — Schools of Kilbourn City — P. G. 
Steoud and Jonathan Bowman — Village Incorporated — Water 
Service and Fire Protection — The Free Public Library — Im- 
provement OF Southern Wisconsin Power Company- — First 
Steamboats at the Dells — Banks at Kilbourn — The Presby- 
terian Church — The Methodists — St. Cecelia (Catholic) 
Church — Other Religious Bodies. 

Kilbourn City, or properly, the village of Kilbourn City, is widely 
famed as the center of one of the most popular regions with summer 
tourists in the countn,', and the site of a greater water-power. At the 
height of the summer season, when thousands of visitors are peering into 
every little ravine and gloating over countless fantastic carvings in the 
sandstones of the Dells, more than a score of hotels are overflowing and 
thriving at Kilbourn City; when the season is over, all but half a 
dozen, or less, are on the retired list. In summer, the village and 
surrounding country are throbbing with life; in the winter, the entire 
region is a picture of demureness, and would seem almost lifeless were 
it not for the great dam and power house, from which are issuing such 
currents of vitality to Portage, Watertown, Milwaukee, and other points 
between and around. 

The Village op the Present 

Kilbourn is a pretty village, the center of a prosperous country, as 
its elevators and warehouses for the handling and storage of grain, seed 
and potatoes demonstrate ; also, its implement depots and lumber yards. 
Two substantial banks handle its trade. It ha.s a good system of water 
works, is well lighted and its fire protection is ample. As to higher 


matters, Kilbourn City has a fine new grade school (completed in 1911), 
a Carnegie library, not yet (1914) fairly open to the public, and several 
well-attended churches. Now, as to details. 

Wisconsin River Hydraulic Company Fathers Kilbourn 

Kilbourn as a village is the child of the Wisconsin River Hydraulic 
Company, which in 1855 purchased a piece of land a mile in length and 
half a mile in width lying along the broken east banks of the Wisconsin 
River, in the extreme northwest corner of the county. At this point the 
tableland rises about eighty feet above the stream, and when the pur- 
chasers of the land laid out the village the ground was generally covered 
with clumps of oaks, the river and some of the ravines being fringed 
with yellow pines. The village plat, made in June, 1856, was intei'sected 
by two main streets, noted as 100 feet wide, crossing at right angles half 
a mile from the river, all the other streets being eighty feet wide and 
running parallel to the main thoroughfares. 

Editor Holly Arrives 

Mr. Holly, proprietor and editor of the Wisconsin Mirror, was the 
first settler to arrive, coming on the 20th of November, 1855, six months 
before the village was platted. About the time Mr. Holly finished his 
dwelling and printing office, the Hydraulic Company commenced the 
building of a dam 425 feet in length, with a fall of eight feet. The 
lumbermen bitterly opposed its construction, as they had so much 
trouble in running their rafts over it. Finally, in 1859, a large party of 
them gathered at Kilbourn and tore it down. 

Soon after Mr. Holly located at the unnamed village he was joined 
by J. B. Vliet, John Anderson, G. F. Noble, Joseph Bailey (the Civil 
War hero) and others. A considerable force of men were engaged in 
clearing away the trees in the course of the projected streets, and others 
were building houses and working upon the dam. One of the rules of the 
hydraulic company was that those who purchased lots were to build upon 
them within a reasonable time, which provision accounted for much of 
the bustle of the town. 

Village Plat Recorded 

The plat of the village was placed on record June 10, 1856, under the 
name Kilbourn City, and a week later the Mirror approved of the chris- 
tening in these words: "Under ordinary circumstances we should be 


opposed to the naming of a town after a person, but we think the cir- 
cumstances in this place are such as to make it eminently proper. Hon. 
Byron Kilboum of Jlilwaukee, for public enterprise which tells on the 
prosperity of the state, undoubtedly stands first. This makes it proper 
that an important central towii should be named after him. He is one 
of the early settlers of the state, having come to the metropolis in its 
infancy and having been instrumental, beyond any other individual, in 
its growth and prosperity. He is the body and soul of the La Crosse 
Railroad. On that more than any other enterprise he has staked his 
reputation as a business man to make it the great trunk line of the 
state. The present prosperity of the road shows that his success is 
almost certain, tender these circumstances it seems highly fitting that 
some place on the line of the road should bear his name. Our place is 
nearly central on the road, at the point where it crosses the largest river 
in the state, and we expect it to be the largest inland tov\'n in the state. 
Then what place could be named after the head man of the road with 
greater propriety than this ? In the name itself there can be no objection. 
It has but two syllables and is euphonious ; consequently is easily spoken 
and agreeable to the ear. These reasons, we think, are abundantly suf- 
ficient for naming our place as we have. And as the place is honored by 
the name, it is expected that the name will be honored by the place." 

Sales op Lots 

The first public sale of lots commenced August 18, 1856, and was 
attended by persons from Milwaukee, Madison, Portage and other points 
in the state, with a few from Illinois, Ohio and New York. The stock 
of the hydraulic company was taken in payment at par. The sales, 
which continued four days, amounted to $76,2.35, the lots ranging in 
value from .$50 to $1,450. 

A second sale, stretching over three days of the succeeding October, 
brought $34,447. Anything fathered by Byron Kilbourn was always 
boomed by ^Milwaukee. The leading auctioneer of the Cream City, Caleb 
Wall, who had conducted the last sale, was particularly loud and warm 
for Kilbourn City, declaring: "]\Iany who are now rolling in wealth in 
Milwaukee and other large cities of our state owe it to the rise of prop- 
erty ; and the chances in Kilbourn City are as great as in any city that 
has been started in the last ten years. I have no doubt in my mind, 
taking the central position of Kilbourn City, that the seat of government 
of our .state will be located there. A more lieaiitiful site for a city is not 
to be found." 


Schools of Kilbourn City 

In 1856 occurred an event which was even of more import than the 
sale of lots and the boom from Milwaukee — the completion of the first 
schoolhouse in the town. Kilbourn City was then school district No. 6, 
and in May, when the new building was completed, it had an attendance 
of fourteen. In 1861 Dell Prairie was united with the district, which, 
with the normal increase of school children, made a larger building 
necessary. For that purpose block 78 (Thomas B. Coons') was pur- 
chased in 1867, and in the summer of 1870, after village government had 

Public School Building, Kilbourn 

been adopted, a fine three-story building of cream colored brick was 
completed. When first occupied, the present graded system was adopted. 
With the continued growth of Kilbourn City its school facilities have 
been since increased by the completion of a large red brick building, two 
stories and basement, for the use of the grammar grades. It was occu- 
pied in the fall of 1911, the Union schoolhouse of 1869-70 having since 
been devoted to the high school scholars. There are 335 pupils enrolled 
in the public schools of Kilbourn City, of whom seventy-five are accred- 
ited to the high school and forty-four to the seventh and eighth grades, 
accommodated in the Union Building. 

P. G. Stroud and Jonathan Bowman 

"Among the men who were in Kilbourn at an early time, and after- 
ward became noted in public life," says J. E. Jones, the well-known 



editor and citizen of that place, "was P. G. Stroud, who moved up 
from Newport in 1857. The next year he began the study of law, in 
which he later obtained great prominence. He wa-s a man of strong con- 
victions, sound judgment, and a genial nature that won popularity. 
From the day he began to help make Kilbourn history to the day of his 
death, 1887, Mr. Stroud was a strong and leading personality. He es- 
tablished Stroud's Bank, now the Kilbourn State Bank. It would not 
have been possible to have written this 'Story of the Wisconsin River' 
without Jonathan Bowman, and no history of Kilbourn that omits his 
name would be complete. In every public transaction of old Newport 
from its first inception to its final obliteration he was a principal. His 
influence also appeared in the earliest relations of Kilbourn and was 
apparent in all affairs until his death in 1895. Mr. Bowman did not 


Jonathan Bowman 

become an actual resident of Kilbourn until 1862, and in 1868, bought 
the Kilbourn bank from John ]\IcGregor, which had been established 
the year before. His strong personality won the loyal, unswerving 
friendship of his associates, and the honor of leadership in business and 
political affairs. In later years the leadership of all public matters in 
Kilbourn was about equally accorded to Jonathan Bowman and P. G. 
Stroud, and though they were frequently in bitter opposition and strenu- 
ous rivalry in a public manner, there was never imputed to either of 
them one single act of reprehensible nature. Their manhood and sense 
of honor was never .sacrificed to an unfair advantage. Today those two 
men around whose lives centre so much of the history of Kilbourn, sleep 
in near proximity in the village cemetery. Those lives, so earnest, per- 
sistent and efficient in events that made Kilbourn, in which each sought 
to do the right as he saw it, closed in the full vigor of usefulness, sud- 


denly and near together. Today posterity regards the memory of both 
with impartial honor and equally generous praise. 

"During about fifteen years from 1860 Kilbourn seemed likely to 
realize the expectations of its promoters. Merchants drew trade from 
far beyond Baraboo and Reedsburg, until the North Western Road 
came along in 1872 — and north beyond Mauston and Necedah. The 
river in those days was almost continually covered with raftsmeu and 
lumber fleets, and they tied up long enough to keep Kilbourn lively. 
There were then several big stores, the Hansens, the Hydraulic com- 
pany store, later owned by the Dixons: Wood had a big store where the 
bowling alley now is, which was later Kuney & Bergstresser. Besides 
these there were a number of smaller establishments in all lines, and all 
did a rushing business. Old settlers now refer to those times in extrava- 
gant terms, and seem to think present conditions discouraging. That, 
however, is susceptible of another view. There are today perhaps more 
than three times the number of stores, and all doing a good business. 
While the country trade does not extend as far, the country is more 
thickly settled, and people trade more now than in those times. It is 
quite likely that people made more stir, did more trading while at it, but 
there are now more people, trading every day instead of monthly, and 
more goods are sold. It is a mistake quite conunonly made in most mat- 
ters of comparison — people overlook relative conditions. It frequently 
happens in the progress of the human race that it is a detriment to begin 
life with lofty expectations — not, however, that men should be without 
ambition. A young man should have a high mark and strive to reach it. 
But the danger lies in going forward with eyes in the clouds, overlook- 
ing and disdaining the lesser things along the way. That seems to have 
been the case with Newport and Kilbourn. From the first everything 
tended to magnificent opportunities and great achievement. The peo- 
ple have always had their hopes fixed on the 'magnificent water power,' 
a big factory town and an unrestricted trade. Ordinary success counts 
for nothing in comparison, and small opportunities have been neglected. 
The result is that Kilbourn is not all it might have been, because the 
inhabitants 'despised the day of little things,' and it is also very much 
greater than its people think because it is not up to the mark of their 
great expectations. As a matter of fact the village has prospered and, 
aside from its summer resort relations, is commercially ahead of the 
average market town. It has not only kept up with its neighbors but 
has in some instances set the pace for others." 


Village Incorporated 

Kilbourn was under town governmeut until 1868, but on February 
29th of that year the governor approved a legislative act incorporating 
it as a village. The first election as provided by the charter was held 
May 10, 1869, and resulted as follows : George Smith, president ; G. J. 
Hansen, John Tanner, Henry H. Drinker, George H. Daniels, John N. 
Schmitz and A. Chamberlain, trustees; H. H. Hurlbut, police justice; 
J. Jackson Brown, clerk; Geoi-ge Ribenaek, treasurer; George A. Boyd, 

All of the public departments are sufficient for their requirements. 
It has its own waterworks and electric light plant, the electric current 
being generated at the light and power house of the Southern Wisconsin 
Power Company at Kilbourn. 

Water Service and Fire Protection 

In the early '70s the residents of the new village commenced to call 
for better water supply and fire protection. Finally a well 1,300 feet 
deep was bored, but no water was reached. After various other experi- 
ments, in the fall of 1889 the main pipe of the present system was laid 
from a pumping station in the ravine, at the old steamer landing above 
the railroad bridge. This pipe at first followed Broadway to the old 
tanks near the D. E. Loomis residence. Since 1909 the present water- 
works have been completed, embracing power house, wells and reser- 
voir. The entire light and water plant of the village is now valued at 
$50,000. In 1913 the consumption of water amounted to 22,000,000 

When pipe was laid in other streets than Broadway, the need of a 
fire department became api^arent. So in September, 1891, a volunteer 
fire company was organized with F. R. Snider as foreman. The volunteer 
organization, which has done good work, now comprises thirty men, and 
is supplied with hook and ladder, fire extinguisher and 1,500 feet of 
hose. There is a direct water pressure through the mains and h.ydrants 
which is sufficient to throw a stream over any building in the village. 

The Free Public Library 

The predecessor of the Carnegie Library, which (1914) is about to 
be open to the public, was the Kilbourn Literary and Library Associa- 
tion, organized in 1886. The incorporators were E. A. Steere, Rev. D. 
Evans, J. E. Jones, Miss Susie ^Mylrea, Miss Ella Bowman and Jlrs. R. 


Scliofield. Of those directors J. E. Jones is the only one now residing in 
Kilbourn, and he has been identified with a library board ever since 
the founding of the old association. In 1897 the library became a village 
institution and a free public library. Through a donation of Andrew 
Carnegie, a large, artistic library building was erected in 1913 at a 
cost of $7,000. There are about eight thousand volumes on the shelves. 

James E. Jones 

As noted, James E. Jones, the present editor of Events, is one of the 
oldest and best known citizens of Kilbourn. He has been in editorial 
work continuously for thirty-eight .years, thirty years of that time with- 
out a break in this place. 

Mr. Jones was born in Virginia in 1847 and during the first years 
of the Civil war lived with his parents in Georgia. In 1864 he came 
North and enlisted for the Indian service in the West, serving on the 
plains. Just after the war he served with General Custer in Kansas, 
through that fierce, bloody war that covered the plains of Kansas with 
the graves of soldiers and settlers. He also served in the United States 
Topographical Corps in Arizona, New Mexico, and other territories, 
then practically unsettled. He later came to Chicago where he was for 
some time employed as a newspaper reporter, coming to Kilbourn in 
1884, where he has since been in the newspaper business. Mr. Jones has 
always been prominently identified with everything inclined toward the 
upbuilding of the town and surrounding country. 

Improvement of Southern Wisconsin Power Company 

The great improvement under the control of the Southern Wisconsin 
Power Company at Kilbourn is the direct outcome of the old dam built 
by the Wisconsin River Hydraulic Company in the late '50s. The 
founder of the first water power and of Kilbourn was ruined by the 
destruction of the first dam by the infuriated lumbermen in 1859, and 
as the company had boi'rowed heavily from Byron Kilbourn, of Mil- 
waukee, president of the LaCrosse & Milwaukee Railroad, and the chief 
Wisconsin promoter of his day, all of its property at the river and iu 
the village passed into Mr. Kilbourn 's hands. 

No attempt was made to repair the dam until 1866, when the Kil- 
bourn Manufacturing Company was incorporated for the purpose of 
utilizing the water power and developing manufactories on the eastern 
shore and Mr. Kilbourn made over to that corporation all his rights in 
that section of the improvement which he had obtained from the old 
Hydraulic Company. This corporation was largely financed by Mr. Kil- 
bourn, although his name did not appear in the list of incorporators. 


It was authorized to raise the dam a sufficient height to complete the 
water power, not exceeding three feet above the low water mark of the 
river, which was considered safe for the passage of the lumber rafts. 
During the summer of that j-ear the dam was raised about two feet, 
but this did not prevent the lumber interests from attempting tO stop 
the work tlirough the courts. Before the contention was settled. Byron 
Kilbouru died, and Byron H. Kilbouru, son of the deceased, obtained 
his father's interest in the new dam, as well as his real estate in Kilbourn 
City. The younger Kilbourn and others completed a large mill on the 
east side of the river in 1872, and the Kilbourn Manufacturing Com- 
pany reconstructed the dam so as to meet the continued objections of 
the lumbermen, liut the spring freshet of 1872 gon.oed out the river 

PuwER Daji at High Water, Kilbourn 

banks below, and there was more ti-oul)le for the courts. In 187-1: the 
United States Court assessed damages Isoth on the Kilbourn Manufactur- 
ing Company and the mill company. The latter was let out of the diffi- 
culty by going up in flames during the fall after the spring verdict. 
The lumbermen had already purchased the west side of the dam of 
Mr. Kilbourn, and in June, 1876, they obtained possession of the other 

The present mill was erected by E. D. Munger in 1883 and conducted 
by him about thirteen years. The dam went out in 1889 and the mill was 
idle until Wilmot put in a new one in the winter of 1893-94. In 1896 
the center pier of this structure was swept down the river. The "im- 
provement" remained in status quo until 1905, when the water-power 


was sold to the Southern Wisconsin Power Company. Preparations 
were at once made for a modern plant commensurate with the splendid 
natural advantages offered at Kilbourn. Work on the present improve- 
ment was finally begun in 1907 and the entire plant— dam, power house 
and all — was "opened for business" in August, 1909. 

The general management of the controlling company consists of 
Jlagnus Swenson, Madison, president and general manager ; E. J. B. 
Schubring, secretary ; G. C. Neft', Kilbourn City, superintendent. 

An authoritative description of the hydro-electric development at 
Kilbouru, which is one of the great public works within the limits of 
Cokuubia County, was prepared by the Engineering Record, a publi- 
cation of national repute. From its description, published the month 
after the work was completed, the following is condensed : 

"The Southern Wisconsin Power Company has placed in operation 
recently a 600-kw hydro-electric development on the Wisconsin River, 
near Kilbourn, Wis. About 84,000 kw-hours per day will be delivered 
from this development over a 70-mile transmission line extending to 
a connection with the system of the Milwaukee Electric Railway & 
Light Company at Watertown, Wis. The latter company will transmit 
the current aboiit 50 miles to its distribution center 'in Milwaukee, thus 
making the total transmission distance at high voltage over 120 miles. The 
new plant will be operated in parallel with the existing steam stations of 
the Milwaukee Electric Railway & Light Company. Considerable power 
also will be sold locally and along the transmission line. It is proposed 
to increase the capacity of the plant later, since additional power can be 
obtained at the site during many entire years, and for most of the time 
every year. 

"The character of the Wisconsin River is such that this stream is one 
of the most favorable in the Middle West for power development. The 
drainage basin above the site at Kilbourn covers approximately 7,800 
square miles that contain numerous lakes and large tracts of sandy 
country, while most of it is wooded.. A steady run-off with a compara- 
tively limited variation between the minimum and the flood flows is con- 
sequently produced. The ordinary minimum flow is between 4000 and 
5000 cu. ft. per second, and flood discharges of 40,000 to 45,000 cu. ft. 
per second may be expected most years, with an exceptional volume of 
upwards of 80,000 cu. ft. per second at long intervals. The minimum 
and maximum conditions are usually of comparatively short duration, 
however, and the average flow is well maintained. 

"The development is at a 90-deg. bend in the river, where a series 
of rapids formerly existed. A dam has been built across the channel, 
which was about 350 ft. wide at the site, to develop a head of 17 ft. The 


power house, with its head-raoe aud penstocks is iu an excavation made 
in solid rock on the left-hand, or east bank of the stream, entirely outside 
of the channel. With the head, volume of water aud pondage available, 
the present generating ec|uipment can be operated throughout the year 
on a 10-hour or 14-hour basis, and during most of the year the flow is 
such that much more power can be developed. Hence, the installation 
of the proposed additional units is quite desirable, since the existing dam 
is sufficient to provide for them, and the expense involved iu extending 
the headworks would be relatively small. At the same time these units 
would be of advantage as reserve. Furthermore, not only can all of the 
equipment of an enlarged plant be operated much of the year, but the 
existing steam plants iu Jlilwaukee also are available for auxiliary power 
during periods of low flow. 

"At the site the stream flows through a continuous formation of 
Potsdam sandstone, the bed and both banks being of this material. The 
original depth of the river at the site of the dam ranged from 25 to 35 
ft., and its width was 350 ft., witli both banks rising straight up to a 
height of 50 to 70 ft. from the edge of the water. These conditions, com- 
bined with the large volume of flood discharge, required the full width 
of the channel to be utilized at a spillway. The power house therefore 
had to be placed in the excavation in one bank, where it is protected 
from flood. This location of the power house at the angle of the bend of 
the stream also secured considerable advantage in head by separating 
the tail-races from the discharge over the spillway. At the same time 
it permitted the construction of the power house and head-works to be 
handled in the dry back of the cofferdam without reference to the flow 
of the river. 

' ' The dam across the river is a concrete structure on a rock-fill timber- 
crib base. It has a total length of 400 ft., extending from a wide abut- 
ment wall adjoining the head works of the power house to an abutment 
built into the rock face of the opposite bank, and rises to a maximum 
height of 55 ft. above the bed of the stream. The timber-crib construc- 
tion was adopted for the base because the conditions presented by the 
depth of the stream, the sandstone bedrock, the volume of water con- 
fined between the narrow banks and a velocity 3 to 4 ft. a second in 
the channel rendered it impracticable to build any ordinary type of 
cofferdam to unwater even part of the site. This crib work, which is 
154 ft. wide parallel to the channel, was constructed iu place. The con- 
crete dam, 48.5 ft. wide at the bottom, stands on the upstream end of the 
crib ; the balance of the width of the latter provides an apron that receives 
the water discharged over the spillway. 


"111 order to provide means of handling the tlow of the river, the 
crib was built in two approximately equal parts, the first extending from 
the west bank to about midstream, and the second closing the gap. The 
midstream side of the first one of the two parts in which the timber base 
was built and the downstream end of the base are of the same construc- 
tion as the portion on which the concrete supei'structure stands. The 
space enclosed in each part by the cribs around the three sides and the 
bank on the fourth side is filled with sand up to 10 ft. below the ordi- 
nary level of the water below the dam, which placed it at least 8 ft. 
below the minimum stage. 

'"The concrete superstructure of the dam is built as a spillway, with 
its crest 6 ft. below the level at which the headwater in the pond above it 
will be maintained. Concrete piers placed 25 ft. 10 in. apart in the 
clear rise from this spillway to a height of 24 ft. above the latter, thus 
providing 12 large openings, with a total clear width of 300 ft., through 
which is passed all of the flow not utilized in the power house. Each of 
these openings contains a large vertical steel gate designed specially as 
a crest of adjustable height, by means of which the water above the 
dam will be held at the stage desired. The lowering of the gates also 
will permit flood flows to he passed without raising the level of the pond 
beyond certain limits. 

"The penstocks and the power house of the development occupy to- 
gether an area 143.25 ft. wide by 191.5 ft. long at the downstream end 
of the head-race, and are in an excavation that is a continuation of the 
one made for the latter. 

"The penstocks are 78 ft. long and extend 21 ft. inside the power 
house. They are covered 8 ft. above the ordinary level of water in the 
head-race with a tight reinforced concrete roof. The portion of the sub- 
structure of the power house not included in the penstocks also has tight 
reinforced concrete walls built to this height. The superstructure of the 
building is of pressed brick trimmed in stone and covered with a roof of 
red Ludowici tile carried by steel trusses. Skylights of glass tile placed 
in the roof provide, together with ample windows, good interior lighting. 

"On the downstream side of the interior of the building is a gen- 
erator room, 34 ft. wide, that extends the full length of the building, 
with a clear height of 44 ft. under the roof trusses. The flat roof of the 
penstocks forms the floor of the balance of the building at the rear, with 
a clear height of 24 ft. between it and the roof trusses. On this floor 
are placed the transformers, switching connections, switchboards and 
various auxiliary apparatus of the plant. 

"The waterwheels are of a modified McCormick type turbine, built 
and installed by the Wellman-Seaver-Morgan Company, of Cleveland, 



Ohio. Each main generator is driven by six 57-iu. turbines arranged 
in pairs on a single horizontal shaft. ' ' 

First Ste.vmboat at the Dells 

Although the romantic beauties of the Dells were known and enjoyed 
in the '30s, it was not until forty years afterward that any special 

Steamboat at Devil s Elbow, Wisconsin Dells 

effort was made to accommodate sight-seers, who desired to view the 
wonders of which they had heard but were too timid to row the river. 
As early as 1835 the steamboat Frontier, Captain D. S. Harris, made 
a trip up the Wisconsin River as high as the Dells, but did not attempt 
to pass through. For some years afterward steamboats made occa- 
sional trips as high as that point. 

In 1850 the Enterprise, Captain Gilbert, reached the Dells, tied up 
in the eddy overnight, and the next morning continued on through them 


and as high up the river as Point Bass. The boat afterward made two 
or three trips to the same point. 

But until the coming of the Modocawando, in 1873, boating through 
the Dells was always considered in the light of a rather fearful adven- 
ture, owing to the swiftness of the current in high water and the numer- 
ous sandbars, above and below the Dells, in low water. In the year 
mentioned Captain A. Wood brought that steamer down the river from 
Quincy, Wis., with the design of making regular trips through the 
Upper Dells. Captain Wood and Captain Walton McNeel made trips 
for several seasons, both through the Upper and Lower Dells, and a little 
later Captain Bell, with the even better known Dell Queen, made regular 
voyages through the Upper Dells for many years. 

For years past the accommodations for the use of craft of every kind 
have been ample, with the result that every nook and cranny of the 
famous region has become an open book, but none the less charming to 
the visitor whether he be a newcomer or an old-timer. 

Banks .vt Kilbourn 

The crowds of summer visitors, or the local merchants and substantial 
farmers and dairymen of the surrounding country, have good banking 
accommodations in the Kilbourn State and the Farmers and Merchants. 
The former was organized as a private institution in 1884, with Perry G. 
Stroud, a leading lawyer of the county, as president, and Thomas B. 
Coon as cashier. Its capital was $10,000. In 1902 it was organized as the 
Kilbourn State Bank. Its capital is now $20,000, its surplus and undi- 
vided profits $24,278, and its deposits $491,069, with W. S. Stroud, of 
Portage, son of the founder, president; L. N. Coapman, cashier. 

The Farmers and Merchants State Bank was organized in Febru- 
ary, 1910. It has a capital of $20,000 and deposits of $200,000, with 
Robert D. Barney as president and Alban C. Tennison, cashier. 

The Presbyterian Church 

Less than three weeks after Kilbourn City was named. Rev. Stewart 
Mitchell, of the declining Village of Newport, preached the first sermon 
delivered at that point. The date was June 29, 1856. Mr. Mitchell was 
the Presbyterian pastor at Newport, and felt that the newly platted 
village, with its promising water-power, its newspaper and other evi- 
dences of progress, would be a better field for his struggling society than 
his home town, where property was depreciating and the residents were 


dissatisfied, if not discouraged. lu the fall of 1S58 he came to reside, the 
first cominiinion of the Kilboiirn Society having been held in April. In 
1861 the church had so groMTi that the need of a permanent house of 
worship was earnestly discussed, and during the early part of 1862 the 
building at Newport was taken down and the materials brought to Kil- 
bourn for erection in the sunmier. 

But the people were in the midst of civil war horrors and per- 
plexities, times were uncertain, and funds for the building of the pro- 
posed church were difficult to obtain. While the enterprise thus hung in 
the balance, it was lifted by Mrs. Harriet T. Smith, of Milwaukee, and 
Editor Holly, of the Mirror, the former of whom donated funds and the 
latter a building site. 

In August, 1863, the church building was dedicated during a meeting 
of the Winnebago Presbytery, at which time Mr. Mitchell resigned the 
pastorate on account of the ill health of his wife. The edifice now 
occupied was built under the pastorate of Rev. A. V. Gulick, in 1891. 
The church now has a membership of sixty and is in charge of Rev. 
Oliver E. Dewitt. 

The Methodists 

The Methodist Episcopal Chiueh was organized in 1857 by Rev. 
William Mullen, among its organizing members being Silas ]\Ierrill and 
wife, John Kneen and Harriet Peabody. Mr. ilerrill was first class 
leader. After worshiping for a time in the old schoolhouse, the little 
society purchased a small dwelling house, which was fitted up for 
religious purposes. Next, the old schoolhouse again ; then an old store, 
when a regular church building was commenced. While that was under 
way, the Methodists used the hall of the Kilbourn Institute, but on 
Sabbath, January 31, 1868, dedicated their new church. The present 
membership of the society is 122 and it is in charge of Rev. D. J. 

St. Cecelia (Catholic) Church 

The Catholics organized as St. Cecelia Church in the late '50s, their 
first building being erected in 1859. It was a little frame structure, 
which was afterwards enlarged, and the parsonage was built in 1871. 
These met the requirements of the parishioners until 1903, when the 
present edifice and parsonage — substantial red brick buildings — were 
erected. Rev. Nicholas Hanert took charge in 1907, and 100 families 
are under his jurisdiction. 


Other Religious Bodies 

The German Lutherans dedicated a church in 1876 ; the Episcopalians 
bought the old schoolhouse in 1875 and reconstructed for church purposes 
in 1896 ; in 1872 the Congregationalists built a church, which the German 
Methodists bought in 1880. 



The Beginnings of Lodi — I. H. Palmer and the Bartholomews — 
Rev. Henry Maynard — The Suckers Settlement Becomes 
Famous — Settlers op 1846 — First M. D. and D. D. — Other Phy- 
sicians — South vs. North, Before the War — I. H. Palmer 
Pounds Lodi — Progress of Local Schools — Village Charter — 
Water Service and Electric Lighting — The Methodist Church — 
The Baptist Church — Lodi Lodges — Business Houses — Banks of 
Lodi — Herbert Palmer, Son of Lodi's Founder 

Lodi is one of the prettiest villages in the county, advantageously 
situated on Spring Creek, a tributaiy of the Wisconsin River. Although 
its site and the surrounding country are broken and picturesque, the 
territory tributary to it is productive and prosperous. The consequence 
is that Lodi is both a good residence town and the center of a solid trade. 
It is the largest center of population on the Chicago & North Westerta 
Railwaj- in the county and has adequate transportation and banking 
facilities for handling both local and tributary trade. 

The Beginnings of Lodi 

The early history of Lodi and the surrounding country is thus told by 
a pioneer of the place: "After the lapse of more than half a century 
from the first settlement of Lodi, a new generation has sprung up, and 
new faces are thronging our streets. 

"To these, perhaps, a few reminiscences connected with the first set- 
tlement of this place may prove interesting. Today there is but a rem- 
nant left of those who first staked their all on what is now the town of 
Lodi. Soon these, too, will vacate their places. 

"The land in this vicinity was surveyed by the United States Gov- 
ernment in 1833 and prior to 1835. The first entries from Government 


were made by what is known as the Western Land Company, organized 
in Washington in 1836, for speculative purposes. Among the members 
of this company were John P. Hale, W. H. Seward and Daniel Webster — 
hence the name of Webster bluff. 

"The land located for this company was done through agents and 
mostly from Government surveys, and was N. E. y^ of Section 33, known 
as the Dwinnell farm; N. W. 1/4 of Section 34, known as the Joe 
Riddle farm; the N. W. 14 oi Section 27, known as the old Dunlap and 
Freye farm; the whole of Section 21, being the Chalfaut and Narracong 
farms, the S. E. 14 of Section 20, the Frank Groves farm, and a few 
other forty acres in this town and some lauds in West Point. 

"The question may be asked why the high prairie land of the 
Dwinnell farm and some others were selected and the more desirable 
water powers along the creek were left vacant. The answer is, the 
creek was erroneously located on the Government plats, on Dunlap 's hill. 
Then came the financial crash of 1837, the like of which our country has 
not experienced — no, not to this day. 

I. II. Palmer and the Bartholomews 

"The first to spy out the natural advantages of this section were I. H. 
Palmer, a noted Nimrod of that period, who made frequent incursions 
into this region in pursuit of choice locations, venison and bear pelts, 
but principally the latter ; and M. C. and G. M. Bartholomew, sons of 
General Bartholomew of McClain County, Illinois, who represented the 
district in Congress in about 1824, and who distinguished himself in the 
Black Hawk War. 

"These sons being bred to a pioneer life and fond of adventures, 
sought out this village for the purpose of making themselves a home, and 
securing a competence by the sweat of their brows, which failed to 
materialize (the competence), by selling calico, coffee, and codfish in 
Illinois. They, too, made strong claims to superiority in marksmanship 
and often tried titles with Judge Palmer. Wlio bore off the belt in these 
contests legend fails to record. 

Rev. Henry Maynakd 

"In the spring and summer of 1845 the Messrs. Bartholomew were 
joined by Rev. Henry Maynard, who although not an expert with a rifle 
was noted for pouring hot shot into sinners — indeed, he made the atmos- 
phere quite sulphuric at times. He was accompanied by his family, his 
wife being the first white woman in Lodi. The fall of this year the 


families of the ilessrs. Bartholomew arrived. The same fall W. G. 
Simons, from Sauk prairie, located up the creek and shortly after was 
joined by his brother-in-law, Joshua Abbot. Freedom Simons came to 
Dane and afterward to Lodi. 

The Suckers Settlement Becomes Famous 

"In the spring of 1846 the fame of the 'Suckers settlement in Spring 
Creek valley' having spread abroad, emigrants from Illinois and other 
parts poured in. 

"Simultaneously in the month of May came Joseph Brown, Jacob 
Hurley and their families; Messrs. Bowman and family, including her 
stalwart son Adam ; and John Foote. About this time came the Strouds, 
four brothers, all bachelors except Morrill, whose wife died soon after 
and whose grave was decorated by the soldiers for years as being that 
of Thomas Bunker, Jr. Other arrivals from Illinois were John Chance, 
Horace Andrews, Johnson Sowards and John Newberry. James Mc- 
Cloud located a claim and built a shanty this year where the brick house 
now stands. 

Settlers of 1846 

"In the fall of this year G. T. Simons, a youth of eighteen, came 
from New York. Nature had given him a good physical organization. 
He could split more rails in a day, and run twenty miles quicker than 
any other man in Wisconsin. His brother Joseph came earlier, with 
W. G. Simons. James M. Steel came about this time, and was fol- 
lowed by his brothers, Edward and John, in 1850. This year (1846) 
Mr. Thomas with a family of unmarried sons and daughters located near 
Chrystal Lake, and other emigrants came from Canada and the eastern 
states — Ira Policy, H. J\I. Ayer, Dr. Drew, Alonzo Waterburj-, Harlow 
Kelsey, John Newman, and Mr. Baldwin. 

The Blachley Settlement 

"It was this year that the nucleus of what was known as the Blachley 
settlement started in Dane county and afterward spread into Lodi. 

FIR.ST :M. D. and D. D. 

"Dr. Eben Blachley was the first regularly ordained D. D. and M. D. 
combined in one, to administer Calvinism and calomel — the fumes of 


brimstoue and blue mass all worked out of the system by a small dose 
of spiritual consolation and a big dose of castor oil, followed bj' a 
Dovers powder to keep down internal disorders. 

"But most of us survived, Herbert Eaton, two years old, a sou of 
J. 0. Eaton, a fiue, delicate little boy, unable to withstand such potations, 
was laid away in the old cemetery at the corner of Section 27. 

Other Physicians 

"After a year or so other M. D.'s attempted to establish a practice. 
Dr. Cathcai-t, after failing to find a remunerative market for his pills 
and powders, sought to earn his living by the sweat of his brow. He 
took the job of building a hotel for Freedom Simons on the corner 
where Briggs house now stands, in payment for an already accumulated 
board bill, and, finding the place too miserably healthy to succeed in his 
profession, he packed his pills and lancet and sought other localities. In 
the course of time he was followed by other M. D.'s at intervals — Ingals, 
Warren, Lake, Heath, and G. H. Irwin, all reasonably successful in 
alleviating the ills to which humanity is heir, the latter bequeathing to 
his posterity a place he so eminently filled. 

South vs. North, Before the War 

"The first settlers here were of Southern extraction, originally from 
Kentucky and Virginia; hence their trend of thought, their principles 
and ideas took their cue from the South, while those from the northern 
and eastern states were of Puritan extraction, with different views and 
habits. Having eeked a scanty subsistence on the rugged hills of New 
England, they fell into habits of most rigid economy, condescending to 
little things in business transactions which gave them the name of 
being ' tight, ' ' close ' and ' picayunish. ' All through the South and West, 
before the War, the term ' Yankee ' was the most opprobious epithet that 
could be applied to a person. ' ' 

I. H. P.vLMER Founds Lodi 

In February, March and April, 1846, Mr. Palmer entered at the land 
office in Mineral Point various portions of Section 27 in the present 
Township of Lodi, on the western banks of Spring Creek. He found 
that the majority of the choice lands owned by the Government had 
been taken up by speculators. They had passed these by, and he kuew 
they were choice because he had thoroughly canvassed the southwestern 


portion of Columbia County in the summer of 1845, having found a fine 
water power at this point. 

In April, 1846, Mr. Palmer arrived upon the ground and prepared to 
get out timber for a sawmiU and a log house for his family. The sawmill 
was in operation by fall, his family having "got settled" in the previous 
June; consequently Mr. Palmer was the first actual settler within the 
present village limits and founder of its first industry. In 1847 he also 
petitioned for a postofifice and a ferry at the scene of his operations, both 
of which were granted. Mr. Palmer's commission for postmaster was 
signed April 17, 1848, and on the 25th of the succeeding month he 
recorded the first plat of the Village of Lodi. The founder of Lodi would 
have been accounted a hustler even today. 

In the fall of 1848 Mr. Palmer completed a store building which was 
soon occupied by Thomas & Pinney, young men who had been engaged 
in general merchandise at Hanchetville, Dane County. 

Progress of Local Schools 

In the summer of 1846 a log house was erected on Section 27, in 
which ]Miss Mary Yockey taught the first school within the limits of the 
present village. This house served until 1851, when a frame building was 
erected on the same section, the district being No. 1. 

After various rearrangements of districts, as population increased, 
School Districts 1, 2, 6, 7 and a part of 3 were consolidated into a 
Union district, with the object of establishing a school of high grade 
which might accommodate all. A special school meeting was held Octo- 
ber 8, 1864, when the board was authorized to move one or more of the 
sehoolhouses to the point as would l)est subserve the interests of the 
consolidated districts. 

Previous to this time Professor A. G. Riley had been teaching a 
select high school in the village, and had awakened considerable interest 
in higher education. As the professor had expressed his ^rillingness to 
abandon his private school in case the districts united for the purpose 
mentioned, he did so when the change was made and was appointed first 
principal of the Union School, which was opened November 14, 1864. 

In November, 1869, a $10,000 union schoolhouse was completed with 
a seating capacity of 340. This was burned in the spring of 1878 and 
another thrown open to the scholars of the district in the following De- 
cember. In 1873 the first superintendent of village schools was elected, 
John Foote, and since that time they have been organized under the 
graded system. 

The 1878 building was also burned in 1886. In due time it was 


replaced by the substantial brick structure occupyiug the same site, 
now used for grades and designated the Grade Building. As time 
passed the need for increased room became so apparent and urgent that 
the erection of a high school building was voted by the district, and the 
same was erected in 1898 on the beautiful and picturesque site, com- 
prising about three acres of land, donated for that purpose by the 
Palmer sisters, near the head of Main Street. 

To carry out Lodi's present system of public instruction, the school 
board, consisting of Director Dr. T. 0. Goeres, Clerk C. H. Mandeville 
and Treasurer A. R. Reynolds, employs one supervising principal and 
eleven assistants. Five (including L. F. Rahr, the principal) are as- 
signed to the high school and six to the grades. The present school year 
of 1913-14 has seen the largest enrolment in the history of the Lodi 
High School — 134; in the grade school it is 207. 

Village Charter 

In 1872 Lodi obtained a village charter covering the area embraced 
by Section 27, and on June 20th of that year held its first election. It 
resulted in the choice of Horatio N! Cowan for president of the village 
board of trustees; E. Andrews, Alexander Woods, James McCloud, H. C. 
Bradley, William Dunlap and Leonard F. Wanner, trustees; Carlos 
Bacon, clerk ; J. M. Pruyn, treasurer ; H. M. Ayer, police justice. 

Water Service and Electric Lighting . 

The village owns its own waterworks plant. The water is stored in a 
reservoir fourteen feet in depth by forty feet in diameter, situated on a 
hillside overlooking the town. The water is of the purest and best, being 
obtained from two wells located at the foot of the blutif, one fourteen 
feet deep, the other an artesian well 253 feet in depth. The plant has a 
pumping capacity of 500 gallons per minute. 

Lodi has also a good electric lighting system, the plant being owned 
and operated by the municipality. One hundred and twenty-five meters 
are now in use. 

Both plants are operated by the same power, two boilers, one of 
fifty horsepower and one of 100 horsepower being employed for the 

The Methodist Church 

Lodi has always been a quiet, God-fearing community and supports 
several strong churches, chief of which are the Presbyterian and Meth- 


odist. The ilethodists formed the first class for religious instruetiou, in 
the fall of 1845. This was before the village was platted hy ilr. Palmer. 
G. il. Bartholomew. Catherine Bartholomew, M. C. Bartholomew, Mary 
Bartholomew, Christiana Bartholomew, Henry I\Iayuard, Catherine 
Maynard and Harriet E. ilayuard — in other words, the Bartholomews 
and the Maynards — got together, with the first-named Bartholomew as 
class leader, and formed an organization under Rev. L. Harvey. Sei-v- 
iees were held in the log cabins of the Bartholomews and the Maynards 
until the spring of 1846, when the log schoolhouse was built in Section 
27, on the future village plat. As the population of the village in- 
creased and the log schoolhouse became too small, a house was obtained 
which accommodated the growing soeietj- for some j'ears, and in 1857 a 
large stone church building was dedicated. The present society is in 
charge of Rev. G. R. Carver. 

The Baptist Church 

The Baptists have a society in charge of Rev. Joseph J. Bowman, 
son of the first settled pastor of the local church. The first meeting to 
consider organization was held at the house of H. M. Ayer in April, 1852, 
and in the following month articles were signed by Peter Van Ness, 
Cyrus Hill, William G. Simons, H. il. Ayer, Freedom Simons, William 
Waite, Matthias Warner, Ira Polly, Emma Van Ness, Caroline L. Sim- 
ons, Almira Simons, Lucy Warner, Caroline Wait, Catherine Polly, 
James Cross, Laura Durkee and Betsy Hill. In January, 1853, the 
church invited Elder Joseph Bownnan to become its pastor. This rela- 
tion was continued until December 28. 1861. A church building was 
completed in 1867. 

Lodi also sustains a Norwegian Lutheran Church and a small Uni- 
versalist society, the latter being organized in 1872. 

The Presbyterian Church 

The Presbyterians organized in June, 1852, the ten persons siguins 
the articles of covenant being James O. Eaton and wife, A. P. Smith and 
wife, Robert Mann and wife, Mrs. Patridge, Mrs. Strangeway, Mrs. J. 
N. Lewis and Miss Eliza Steele. The first Presbyterian sermon had 
been preached in the preceding fall by Rev. J. N. Lewis, a missionary 
of the church, who became the settled pastor of the local society. In 
August, 1857, Rev. G. B. Riley, the widely known missionary and edu- 
cator, commenced his labors as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church 
of Lodi, and during his six years of fine service a house of wor.ship was 



erected and the society placed on a substantial basis for future develop- 
ment. The church very early adopted the plan of a rotary eldership. 

Presbyterian Church, Lodi 

The present building was erected in 1911, and the membership of the 
society is 200; Rev. Frank Zimmerman, in charge. 

Lodi Lodges 

The villagers have a good Masonic lodge (Lodi Valley No. 99), which 
was organized in 1857, and has now a membership of fifty-eight; also, 
an Eastern Star auxiliary, with fifteen or twenty members; and bodies 
representing the Knights of Pythias and Modern Woodmen. 

Business Houses 

Lodi has a number of substantial general stores and other business 
Its largest establishment is conducted by the Lodi Grain Com- 
pany, which was established in 1909. The company conducts an elevator 
with a capacity of 12,000 bushels and a feed mill, and has large deal- 
ings in grain, flour and coal. 

Banks op Lodi 

The State Bank of Lodi was organized November 26. 1897, with a 
capital of $25,000. The first officers were : David H. Robertson, presi- 


dent; William Folsom, vice president; E. F. Vanderpoel, cashier. 
William Caldow became president upon the death of Mr. Robertson, and 
at his decease was succeeded by A. E. Reynolds. W. A. Caldow suc- 
ceeded Mr. Vanderpoel as cashier in January-, 1909, and has so con- 
tinued to the present. F. W. Groves is the present vice president. 

The Columbia Bank, at Lodi, was organized November 14, 1906, with 
the following directors: John Caldwell, Sr., John L. Caldwell, James 
M. Caldwell, Robert Caldwell, Hugh S. Caldwell, Marion Caldwell and 
Wm. E. Lamont. The first officers were: John Caldwell, Sr., presi- 
dent; John L, Caldwell, vice president; H. S. Caldwell, cashier, and 
Marion Caldwell, assistant cashier. The officers have continued un- 
changed to the present. The capital stock of $20,000 is also the same. 
Two additional stockholders, Isaac S. Caldwell, of Chicago, and William 
W. Caldwell, of Ashland, Ore., who were stockholders when the bank was 
organized, have since moved away and have resigned from the director- 
ate. On November 4, 1907, the stockholders filed with the state com- 
missioner of banking a declaration in writing, signed by each of them, 
acknowledging, consenting and agreeing to hold themselves individu- 
ally responsible for all the debts, demands and liabilities of said bank, 
under the laws enacted in 1903. The bank has enjo3'ed the confidence 
of the public and is recognized as one of the most substantial and solid 
financial institutions of Columbia County. August 9, 1913, bank state- 
ment showed deposits aggregating aliout $328,464. 

Herbert Palmer. Sox of Lom's Founder 

Isaac H. and Ann Palmer, of Colonial New York stock, came to 
Madison soon after the capital of the state was located at that place, 
reaching Wisconsin in June, 1837. The family lived for a few years in 
and near Madison: while there ^Mr. Palmer was elected the first county 
judge of Dane County. They came to Lodi in the spring of 1846, and 
Judge Palmer, as he was always familiarly known, founded the village 
and laid out the first plat. The life of the family has been intimately 
connected with the progress of the community ever since. 

Judge and Mrs. Palmer were the parents of ten children, of whom the 
subject of this sketch is the youngest. He was born in the beautiful 
Lodi Valley, on December 29, 1857. 

He graduated from the Lodi High School, and afterward attended 
Beloit College; afterward taught very successfully for several years in 
the schools of Columbia and Dane counties. He read law, was admitted 
to the bar in 1894, and has since practiced his profession at Lodi. He 
has always been keenly interested in educational affairs, and was for a 


mimber of years and until recently director of the Lodi High School 

For many years he has been prominent in the affairs of the Presby- 
terian Church ; is an elder and clerk of the session ; was one of the prime 
movers in the building of the fine church which the society erected in 
1911. He was married in 1894 to Miss Nellie Pierce of Poynette. She 
died in 1899. 

Mr. Palmer has two children, Alice, born in 1895, and Herbert, born 
in 1899. The family home is on the lands bought by Judge Palmer from 
the Government nearly seventy years ago. 

It is quite appropriate that Mr. Palmer should be one of the advisory 
editors of this history. 


Pardeeville Founded — Yates Ashley — John Pardee, Father op 
John S., Proprietor — The Old Mill Up to Date — Protection 
Against Fire — Pardeeville State Bank — Incorporated as a Vil- 
lage — (iRADED School System — Pardeeville 's Churches — Masons 
and Odd Fellows 

Joliii S. Pardee was one of those enterprising merchants of Mil- 
waukee, who early extended his operations into the growing and promis- 
ini; fields of southern Wisconsin lying in the valleys of the Fox and 
Wisconsin rivers. In the fall of 1848 he sent out as one of his agents, 
Reuben Stedman, who built a store near the southern shores of the mill 
pond, or water power, which was the birthplace of the Village of Par- 

Pardeville Founded 

In April, 1849, a young New Yorker, who was both a surveyor and 
a merchant and who had been several years in business at ilihvaukee, 
succeeded Mr. Stedman at the new store and water-power site in the 
Fox Valley. The new-comer was Yates Ashley, who not only sold 
Mr. Pardee 's goods, but kept his books, got out timber for the projected 
saw and grist mills, and put everything in operation before the year 
closed. John S. Pardee's money was behind him, but Yates Ashley 
really founded the town. In July, 1850, Mr. Ashley's employer platted 
a portion of the land to which he gave his name, and Willis S. Haskin 
went and did likewise. In 1855 Doctor Lake made an addition to the 
original plat of some forty acres to the south. 

Yates Ashley 

In the meantime Mr. Ashley started out to make some money. First 
he went to Watertown, wliere he clerked a year; then spent two years 
in the engineer's corps of the old LaCrosse & ]\Iilwaukee Railroad, and 



in the spring of 1855 purchased a quarter interest in the flouring and 
grist mill at Pardeeville. In the following October he married Virginia 
M. Pardee, daughter of John and sister of John S. — the latter being his 
appreciative employer of a few years previous. He was afterward post- 
master and many years mail agent of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. 
Paul Railroad Company at Pardeeville. Mr. Ashley represented his 
district in the assembly for several terms during war times, was long 
identified with the management of the State Hospital for the Insane, 
and retained an interest in the general store and the flouring mill which 
he conducted until the time of his death in 1901. One of his sons, Lewis 
P. Ashley, who was born at Pardeeville, has long been proprietor of the 
leading hardware store in the village, and is one of the solid citizens of 
the place. 

John Pardee, Father of John S., Proprietor 

Soon after platting a portion of his land, in 1850, John S. Pardee 
transferred his interest in tlie village to Joseph Utley, Avho, about the 

Old MiLii, Nucleus op Pardeeville 

year 1853, turned the property over to John Pardee, father of the orig- 
inal proprietor. The grist mill, which had been commenced in 1849, 
was completed by John Pardee late in 1856. In the spring of the pre- 
vious year, he had sold a quarter interest in the mill property to Yates 
Ashley, who in the fall of that year had settled at Pardeeville with his 
young bride and commenced his long and honorable career. This 


co-partnership continued until the death of John Pardee June 26. 1873, 
and at the decease of Mr. Ashley, in 1901, Dr. Joseph Chandler pur- 
chased the old mill property around which Pardeeville was built. 

The Old iliLL Up to Date 

Doctor Chandler has since improved the plant so that the mill has an 
output of seventy-five barrels of flour daily, liesides making a good 
showing in the feed line. 

Some 300 feet north of the flouring mill may still be seen a ditch 
which marks the race of the old sawmill which antedated the pioneer 
gi-ist plant. 

Protection Against Fire 

The electric light and power plant, erected in 1901, stands near the 
flour mill. For fire protection there is a chemical engine and a volunteer 
fire department, and the special use of the pump at the power house is 
to force water through the mains in case of conflagration. 

On the 1st of April, 1906, the flames got too far a start of the home 
appliances, and the engine from Portage arrived too late to be of any 
assistance. The west side of the main street was swept awaj% ten 
business houses completely destroyed and a damage was suffered amount- 
ing to between $50,000 and $60,000. This was Pardeeville 's worst fire, 
and precautions have been taken against a repetition of such a calamity. 

Pardeeville State Bank 

The Pardeeville State Bank was organized in 1901 with the following 
officers: Thomas Kearns, president; D. T. Lynch, vice president; 
J. H. Dooley, cashier. Its statement at the close of March 4, 1914, shows 
these items: Capital stock paid in, $15,000; surplus and undivided 
profits, $10,758 ; deposits, $202,545. 

Incorporated as a Village 

Pardeeville was incorporated as a village in November, 1899, and is 
a well-situated station on the northern division of the Chicago, Mil- 
waukee & St. Paul Railroad. It has a score of business establishments, 
including the flouring mill, already mentioned, a grain elevator, a 
creamery and a good bank, potato warehouses and a large lumber yard. 



The village is well supplied with churches and societies for the benefit 
of the local population, and Park Lake adjoining the town offers visitors 
facilities for fishing and boating. 

Graded School System 

Pardeeville was originallj' in School District No. 3, and under control 
of the town authorities. A schoolhouse was erected in the district as 
early as 1847 ; the second was an improvement on the first, and the 
third, erected within the present village in 1868, is the two-story brick 
still in use. A graded system is in force, with a good High School 

.. P 

founded in 1903. The average attendance at the latter is about seventy ; 
in the eight grades below, two hundred. Since the establishment of the 
High School its principals have been Frank Doudna, Clara Dean, Mr. 
Ray, Henry Emraett and A. J. Henkel. The members of the school board 
are as follows : J. S. Alexander, clerk ; J. S. Heath, treasurer ; Dr. A. L. 
Wood, director. 

Pardeeville 's Churches 

The Presbyterian Church of Pardeeville was organized in 1857 with 
these members : Alanson Hughson, Phila M. Hughson, Lebbuus H. Gil- 
bert, William J. Ensign, Leona Ensign and Sarah Burchecker. Rev. 


S. H. Barteau was the first pastor, and a house of worship was dedi- 
cated in March, 1864. The present pastor is Rev. Coonrod Wellen, and 
the membership of the church about seventy-five. 

The Methodists organized early and erected their first church home 
in 1861. John "W. Falconer and Samuel Cannon were the most active 
in its construction. The edifice now occupied was completed in 1910. 
The pastor in charge, Rev. Samuel Olson, commenced his pastorate in 
1911, and ministers to about one hundred and forty members. 

The German Lutherans and the Catholics have also societies at Par- 
deeville. The German Lutheran Church, which has a membership of 
sixty, is supplied by Rev. L. C. Kirst of Cambria. Rev. H. J. Koester 
ministers to the fifty families constituting the Catholic organization. 

M.\soxs AND Odd Fellows 

The Masons were the first to form a lodge in Pardeeville. On Sep- 
tember 12, 1867, a dispensation was granted Pardee Lodge No. 171, 
A. F. & A. M., and an organization was effected by the election of 
Samuel B. Rhodes, W. M. -, Charles J. Pardee, S. W. ; David H. Lang- 
don, J. W. A charter was granted to the organization June 10, 1868. 
The present membership of the lodge is sixty, with the following officers : 
S. H. Dooley, W. M. ; A. J. Henkel, S. W. ; William Robinson, J. W. ; 
A. V. Davis, S. D. ; A. L. Parmlee, J. D. : :M. W. Roberts, .secretary; 
Clift'ord Spicer, treasurer. 

Pardee Lodge No. 126, I. 0. 0. F., was instituted December 5, 1873, 
with Charles J. Pardee, N. G. ; David Narracong, V. G. ; F. A. Matthew- 
son, secretary; John Hartman, treasurer. The lodge has now a mem- 
bership of nearly one hundred, and owns and occupies a fine .$8,000 
hall, which was appropriately dedicated in December, 1913, and com- 
pleted in the following summer. Present officers : Willard Clark, N. G. ; 
Ralph Parish, V. G. ; A. L. Wood, R. S. ; C. E. Spicer, F. S.; R. E. 
Garner, treasurer. 

Pardee Encampment No. 38 was instituted January 30, 1914. It 
has fifteen members and the following officers: A. L. Wood, C. P.; 
R. E. Garner. H. P.; F. W. Edwards. S. W. ; William Reuhl, J. W. ; 
W. P. Dav, scribe; P. IL :\Ifrrill, treasurer. 



Origin op the Name Doubtful — Rio Platted by N. B. Dunlap — First 
Merchant and Postmaster — Pioneer Business and PfiOFESsioisfiVL 
Men — Village Incorporated — Schools — Banks — People 's Tele- 
phone Company — The Congregational Church — The Baptist 
Church — Lutheran and Catholic Churches. 

A visitor to Rio at once concludes that it is one of the neatest villages 
in the county. Its streets are wide and clean, its stores bright and its 
residences, for a place of its size, are unusually attractive. It has a 
fine new school, a pretty village hall, in which are housed the fire 
apparatus and the public ofiicials, two good banks, and is the head- 
quarters of the People's Telephone Company, the largest organization 
of the kind in this part of the state. Rio has a growing retail business. 
It lias a large lumber company, which deals in coal and building mate- 
rial, and operates a grain elevator and a bean warehouse. 

Origin op the Name Doubtful 

Rio is the center of cjuite a prolific bean country; and, in this con- 
nection, steps forth a local wag. A crowd was discussing the origin 
of the village name, which no two have yet agreed upon. "No trouble 
to explain it," says Mr. Wag. "Dunlap, the papa of the town, was a 
great traveler, and when he laid it out he had just returned from Rio 
de Janeiro, Brazil, one of the great coffee centers. His village was the 
center of a big beau land. A fool can see how the town happened to be 
named Rio." 

Then spoke the wise man : "I don 't know much, but a little history, 

local and general. I happen to know that there wasn't much doing in 

the coffee line in the '60s, when Dad Dunlap came here ; also that half 

an acre of beans had not been raised in Columbia County when Dunlap 



came here. Also that Dunlap didu't name it at all. It was named 
before it was born. Try again. ' ' 

Even A. J. Turner gives up "Rio," tlius: "This village was named 
after the postoffice which had previously been established there. The 
name appears to have been selected without rhyme or reason, as fat as 
can be discerned." 

Rio Platted by N. B. Dunlap 

Rio was laid out by N. B. Dunlap in 1864, and he o\\Tied the larger 
part of the land now included in the site. In 1852 a postoffice had 
been established in the northeast corner of Lowville by the name of 
Rio — but why Rio, nobody ever knew. When Mr. Duulap engaged the 
county surveyor, A. Topliff, in the month of November, 1864, to lay 
out a village on his land just over the line in the town of Otsego, the 
postoffice, half a mile west, had become so well known that the founder 
adopted its name. He also reasoned that the postoffice would move to 
his village, which happened within a few months. 

First Merchant and Postmaster 

At the time of the platting, Delos Bundy was running a small coun- 
try store and acting as postmaster. In the spring of 1865 he moved 
his store and office into the village, and for a number of years com- 
bined business with his public duties. 

Pioneer Business and Professional Men 

In the winter of 1864-5 Robert Williams and Kennedy Scott estab- 
lished the first lumber yard in Rio. Dr. Vincent was the first physician 
and John J. Bro^^Ti the pioneer lawyer. 

In July, 1865, D. Buchanan commenced the erection of a grain 
elevator, having a capacity of 10,000 bushels, and by the latter part of 
September it was in use. About the same time another elevator was 
built, and was owned 1)y Samuel D. Curtis when destroyed by fire in 
November, 1872. 

Rio's first drug store was opened by Messrs. Warren and Delos 
Bundy, in the spring of 1866, and in the succeeding fall W. Davidson 
put in the first hardware store. 

But in the late '60s and the early '70s so many lines of business 
appeared that the novelty of "openings" was discounted. 


Village Incoeporated 

The Village of Rio was incorporated in 1886, and in 1904 its officials 
and departments moved into a handsome brick structure specially erected 
for them. 


A fine union schoolhouse, built of red brick, was erected in 1912. 

Village Hall, Rio 

For many years the children of the village were accommodated in the 
Lowville schoolhouse. This arrangement continued as long as Rio was 
in the joint school district, composed of a portion of the towns of Low- 
ville and Otsego, and before it was incorporated as a village. George 
Batty is now principal of schools, the system comprising a well-organized 
high school and the usual grammar grades. 



The Rio State Bank was orgauized in 1900, with a capital stock 
of $20,000 and the following officers : W. E. Moore, president ; H. A. 
Hanson, vice president; Andrew Amondsoii, cashier. C. D. Gates is 
now president and H. S. Hendrickson, cashier. The capital stock has 
remained unchanged; deposits are now $265,000. 

The First National Bank of Rio was organized in 1907, with W. E. 
Moore as president ; C. E. Berg, vice president ; and Andrew Amondson, 
cashier. With the exception of the vice presidency, which is now held 
by M. J. Christopher, the present officers are the same as those at the 
date of organization. The capital stock of the bank is $25,000 and 
deposits $180,000. 

People's Telephoxe Company 

The People's Telephone Company was orgauized February 4, 1901, 
with Jesse L. Farrington, of Rio, president; B. E. Marsh, Low\'ille, 
secretary and treasurer. Mr. Farrington is still president ; A. R. Slinger, 
Portage, vice president; Thomas apOwens, Cambria, secretary and 
treasurer. The People's has more than 1,200 telephones in operation, 
its territory embracing Rio, Fall River, Cambria, Randolph and Fox 

The Congregational Church 

The Congregationalists organized a society at the house of David 
Palmer, two miles east of the village, on December 14, 1864. Those 
who held the meeting were : 0. C. Howe, Juliet Howe, William Scott, 
Jane Scott, David Palmer, Mehitable Palmer and Catherine McKenna. 
For several years they worshipped in the schoolhouse. William Scott 
was chosen deacon of the original organization, and held the office until 
his death, September 22, 1877. 

The new village made such progress within two years after it was 
platted that the members of the church concluded to center their activi- 
ties therein, and on June 9, 1866, the Congregational Society of Rio 
was organized by electing Daniel Buchanan, William Scott, J. P. Scott, 
David Palmer and 0. C. Howe, trustees. The present church building 
was dedicated October 16, 1868, and the parsonage completed in 1891. 
In October, 1877, Kennedy Scott succeeded his father as deacon, and, 
with his wife and daughter, is active in the church work. The Con- 
gregational Church is under the pastorate of Rev. R. C. Bennett, who 
also has charge of the society at Wyoeena. 


The Baptist Church 

The Baptist Church of Rio was organized June 29, 1867, by D. 
Buehauau, Mrs. Buchanan, H. Blemis, M. E. Mosher, L. H. Palmer and 
wife, J. A. Eliot, Mrs. William Gaskell, N. A. Palmer and wife, Mrs. 
Herring and Miss Buchanan. The organization was effected by Rev. 
Nathan Wood, of Wyocena, who continued as pastor of the church for 
many years. The first meetings of the church were held in the school- 
house ; later in various halls and the Congregational Church. In 1873 a 
building was purchased and fitted for religious purposes. The pastor 
now in charge of the society is Rev. G. W. Gales. 

Lutheran and Catholic Churches 

There are also a flourishing Lutheran Church, whose pastor is Rev. 
G. A. Sundby, and a Catholic Church in charge of Rev. Fr. Schmidt 
They are both large and growing and have a strong influence for good. 
The building occupied by the St. Joseph's Catholic Church was erected 
in 1902. 

The Reverend Sundby has charge of the Lutheran congregations both 
of Rio and Bonnet Prairie. The latter, in the Town of Otsego, was organ- 
ized in 1847 ; that of Rio in 1903. The Rio congregation worships in a 
large, convenient and modern structure ; combined membership of the 
two societies, 500. 



The Langdons Found Cambria — Arrival op First Welsh Colony — 
Seeking a Location on Foot — Decide on Welsh Prairie — Fifty- 
three Colonists "At Home" — Only Three Left in 1912 — Lang- 
don 's Mill Becomes Bellville — Bellville Changed to Cambria — 
The Schools — Welsh Organize a Musical Union — Dr. Williams, 
Patron of Literature — Revival of the Ancient Eisteddfod — Post 
office Established — Industries and Banks — Welsh Calvanistic 
M. E. Church — The English Presbyterian Church — Evangeli- 
cal Lutheran Zion's Congregation— Morris J. Rowlands. 

The Village of Cambria lies mostly in the northvi^est corner of the 
Tovpn of Courtland, throwing out a fragment of its northern area into 
Southwestern Randolph. Since 1845 it has been the center of those 
stanch, clean, moral, intellectual, industrious, musical and warm-hearted 
Welshmen who settled in the northeastern part of Columbia County 
and gave the people of that section a reputation for high-mindedness and 
wholesoulfulness out of all proportion to their numbers. Central Wis- 
consin has always been proud of its Welsh Prairie and the strong, fine- 
grained people who have made their homes on it. 

The Langdons Found Cambria 

Preceding the first Welsh colonists by about a year were the brothers 
Langdon. In 1844 they settled on the site of the present Village of 
Cambria, one of them building a sawmill on a branch of Duck Creek, 
the other opening a small stock of merchandise. They surveyed and 
platted four blocks, and called the village Florence. But the mill loomed 
considerably for those days, and the little settlement around it was 
popularly called Langdon 's Mill. 



Arrival of First Welsh Colony 

The settlement had just begun when tlie half a hundred Welshmen, 
with their wives and children, came upon the scene fresh from the 
Highlands of North Wales. The story of their coming is well told by 
a son of one of the colonists, Morris J. Rowlands, one of the advisory 
editors of this history. Cambria had an enthusiastic "Home Coming," 
June 3-5, 1912, and Mr. Rowlands' story was published for the benefit 
and pleasure of the visitors, most of whom are of Welsh stock. 

"First of all," he wrote, "permit me to state here that, besides 
liaving listened to the substance of what I have here to say narrated 
from the lips of my father, who was a member of the exploring party 
hereinafter named, I am principally indebted for the facts and dates 
appearing in this article to reminiscences written in Welsh by my late 
brother, John R. Rowlands, Jr., who was at that time an active young 
man in his twentieth year, endowed with a peculiar trend of mind, 
quick to comprehend and store up occurrences coming under his obser- 
vation. He was considered by those who knew him to be one of the 
safest authorities on the passing events of the pioneer period of Columbia 

"Early in the summer of 1845 several families from North Wales 
met accidentally at Liverpool, England, seeking passage as immigrants 
to the United States of America. On the 17th day of July they sailed 
from Liverpool harbor on board a sailing vessel named the Republic, 
and after a voyage of six weeks and two days arrived safely in New 
York City on the 30th of August, 1845. 

"Many and divers were the incidents that happened during this 
long, wearisome voyage, but space will not permit us to dwell on minor 
matters in this article. 

"After arriving, in New York, a number of families whose male 
members were quarrymen in the old country, went to the slate quarries 
of New York and Vermont, but the majority of them turned their faces 
'Westward,' a word taken as their motto before leaving their native 

"The next portion of the journey from New York to Albany was 
made on a steamboat. From Buffalo they took passage over the lakes 
on board of a steamboat named Wisconsin, the name possibly being the 
means of drawing them to that particular boat ; for that state was their 
'promised land.' After a stormy voyage on the lakes they arrived at 
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on the 16th day of September, where a portion of 
them landed, and on the 17th at Racine, where the remainder left the 


Seeking a Location on Foot 

"On the 24th of September, having previously agreed upon them, 
Robert Closs, David D. Roberts, John R. Rowlands, Sr., Evan Edwards 
and Jabez Lloj'd left their families at the places mentioned, and were 
joined by E. B. AVilliams, William R. Williams, John 0. Jones and 
John Edwards (single men). The party then started on foot in search 
of a suitable place on which to locate, traveling westward over the east- 
ern part of the state, and passing through the village of Fox Lake, 
where a branch land oflfiee was located, the main Government Land 
Ofifiee being then located at Green Bay. They entered into Columbia, 
then called Portage County, about four miles north of the present site 
of the village of Randolph, arriving foot-sore and weary on Saturday 
evening, September 27th, at the shanty of Foulk Roberts on Section 12, 
Township 13, Range 12, then being a part of LeRoy Precinct. 

"After resting themselves over Sunday at Mr. Roberts' they con- 
tinued their westward course until they came to a point on the Fox 
River near the center of Section 16, Township 13, Range 11. There 
they discontinued for the first time their westward course and turned 
south, passing over Portage Prairie. On this path they met Samuel 
McConoehie, M. W. Patten, John and Erviu McCall and John Dodge, 
who were also newcomers preparing to erect cabins on their claims. Mr. 
Dodge, having nearly completed his cabin, prevailed upon them to stop 
with him for dinner, which was cooked and prepared by Mr. Dodge 
personally and, of course, free of charge, which was characteristic of 
those days. 

"After dinner they kept on their southerly course, crossing the 
north branch of Duck Creek about two miles west of where the village 
of Cambria is now located. It is interesting to note that the site of 
the village was entered on by Samuel P. Langdon, and conveyed to him 
on the lith day of June, 1845; and it is also claimed and conceded 
that Mrs. Jabez Lloyd, wife of one of the investigating party of that 
name, late of Mankato, Minnesota, was the first white woman to step on 
Cambria soil. 

Decide on Welsh Prairie 

"After crossing Duck Creek the party entered South Prairie, to 
which they took quite a fancy, and after traveling over the land, examin- 
ing the quality of the soil, locating the timber land and investigating the 
source of water supply, late in the afternoon they walked up to the 
highest point, which was about half a mile southwest of Zion's Church 


in Springvale, and there sat down on the green grass deliberating over 
the situation and comparing notes on the different localities through 
which they had passed during the week. Viewing the beautiful land- 
scape before them and stretching in splendor for miles in every direction 
under the variable-colored rays of the setting sun, they deliberately 
decided to make that locality their place of future abode, hoping that 
they were thus forming a nucleus around which their countrjnueu in 
the future would gather to form a Welsh colony. 

Fifty-three Colonists "At Home" 

"After deciding on the location, they prepared to return, calling 
first at the Fox Lake land office to enter their claims. Then, returning 
to their families at Milwaukee and Racine, they immediately prepared 
to move onto their farms, coming over in covered emigrant wagons — 
'prairie schooners' — and by the middle of October they were all on their 
places, housed in what people nowadays would call 'miserable shanties,' 
but to them, after their wearisome journey, they were 'comfortable 
homes. ' Facing the winter of 1845-46, the settlement contained in round 
numbers, including children, fifty-three persons, composed of nine fam- 
ilies and seven single men. 

Only Three Left in 1912 

"A word on the origin of the name, Welsh Prairie, may be interest- 
ing. Before leaving the spot which the exploring pai'ty decided as their 
location, and in full view of the scenery before them, one of the party 
suggested that the beautiful prairie lying before them should thereafter 
be called Welsh Prairie ; and to this, all agreed. Hence the name, dear 
to the memory of and quite a drawing card in bringing together many 
of the hosts of Home Comers that visited Cambria on the 3d, 4th and 
5th of July, 1912, from New York to California and from Canada to 
Texas ; and now, after a lapse of sixty-seven years, out of the party of 
fifty-three persons mentioned, only three of us are left to represent the 
early settlers of '45 at the glorious Cambria reunion of 1912." 

Langdon's Mill Becomes Bellville 

In 1848 the Langdons, founders of the settlement from which sprung 
the village, raised a frame for a gristmill, but they had exhausted their 
means in their sawmill and store, and were unable to purchase the 



necessary machinery to operate it. In the spriug of 1849 a Mr. Bell 
appeared and advanced money for that purpose, taking a mortgage upon 
the Langdon property as security. In consequence of nonpayment of 
the debt, the property passed into his hands, and the new owner sur- 
veyed and platted quite a large addition to the original site. In order 
to perpetuate his name he called the village Bellville. 

Mr. Bell continued to operate the mill until 1851, when he disposed 
of all his holdings — not only in the mill but in the village site — to John 
apJones and Evan Edwards. As Jones and Edwards were not prac- 
tical millers, they employed Gabriel Williams to superintend the plant, 

1111] i !j;i 

New High School, Cambri.v 

and under the latter 's long management the mill became one of the 
best known industries of the kind in the county. 

Bellville Changed to Cambria 

But the new proprietors of the village, as well as the Welshmen who 
had settled there, were not pleased with the name Bellville, and by them 
it was changed to Cambria. But little gi-owth was attained until the 
completion of the railroad through the place in 1857 ; and it has never 
had a rapid development. 

The Schools 

As stated, although Cambria has shown no noteworthy expansion, it 
has always set a high standard of morality and culture. The school 


district, of which it was the center, was organized in 1847 — one of the 
first in the county — and a house was built the same year on land given 
by Samuel Langdon. It was built of oak lumber from Langdon's mill 
and, although sadly overcrowded in the later years of its use, served 
the pui-poses for which it was built until near the time when the frame 
schoolhouse was built in 1861. When the village was incorporated, in 
1866, the scholars were graded, and two years afterward the building 
was moved to a better location on Tower Street, where an addition was 
made for the primary grades. Since then other improvements have 
been made, a good high school organized, and the entire local system of 
education maintained at the modern standard. U. T. Cady is the 
present principal. 

Welsh Organize a Musical Union 

The Welsh colonists brought with them the thirst for knowledge and 
the determination to furnish their children with means of education; 
also, their strong racial love of music. The hardy Highlanders of Wales 
— the out-of-door people, who love to exercise their splendid lungs and 
clear voices — found an early occasion to organize on the Welsh Prairie. 

Music was cultivated from the very day in 1845 that the Welsh 
settlers opened their crude, but homelike cabins, but not until 1848 did 
the different settlements organize into a musical union. It was then 
decided that the colonists in Columbia County should join in a grove 
about eight miles north of Cambria to celebrate the Fourth of July. 
Music was furnished by a large and weU-trained choir, and E. B. 
Williams delivered the principal address, a philosophical discourse on 
music. Other speeches were made, some of them befitting the natural 
patriotism of the day. 

"It is worthy of mention," says an old settler, "that this manner 
of celebrating the Fourth of July became popular and much good came 
of it. Every year brought some new celebrity to the platform and 
more cultivation to the choir. This musical union continued to gain 
ground steadily for about fifteen years, when religious revivalists claimed 
the privilege to hold a prayer-meeting on the same day. The prayer- 
meeting was held but once, but that was enough to break up the musical 
union. Were it not for that fact, it is probable that the Fourth would 
have continued to be celebrated to this day in the same manner as of old. 

Dr. Williams, Patron op Literature 

' ' Still nothing was done to encourage and cultivate the literary tastes 
of the people until Dr. J. LI. Williams returned from Pennsylvania and 


settled in Cambria in the year 1853. He was the founder, first teacher 
and patron of literature among the Welsh in this part of Columbia 
County. He organized literary societies in every schoolhouse, held reg- 
ular weekly or bi-weekly meetings, which were well attended, especially 
by the young people. Different subjects were given for competitions 
in prose and verse, lectures and speeches were delivered and music in 
its various forms was taught and encouraged. 

• Revb'al of the Ancient Eisteddfod 

' ' In the month of April, 1856, the first grand Eisteddfod ( revival of 
the ancient Druidical festival) was held in the old church or chapel 
called Zion, on Welsh Prairie. This was well attended by musicians, 
poets, lecturers and other literary characters from all parts of the state, 
and was a decided success. Not only was that particular congress of 
bards and literati a success, but, by drawing out talents not previously 
known to the public, it proved that there was material enough among 
the Welsh population for holding such meetings in the future." 

The Welsh in Columbia County have held an Eisteddfod at home, 
or have joined ^vith others to hold one in some other part of the state 
almost every year since 1856. The center of its musical and choral 
features has always been Cambria, and this, more than ever, since the 
building of its fine Music Hall in 1900. 

PosTOFFicE Established 

In the fall of 1852, the year after the village site had passed to 
Messrs. Jones & Evans, a small store was opened by L. Richards. At 
that time there was no postoffiee at ''Bellville," and Mr. Richards, as 
well as the few other settlers, resented the inconvenience — not to call 
it an indignity — of being obliged to go three miles for the mail. The 
storekeeper asked the Government for a postofSee on the ground. The 
country being thinly settled and there being two postofEices within three 
miles, the department felt unwilling to create another one unless one 
of the two should be suspended and the mail contractor willing to change 
his route. But in the spring of 1854 the necessary arrangements were 
made for an office at Cambria. 


In 1856 the first hotel was built in Cambria by Griffith & Evans. 
It was burned in 1872. 



The Cambria Hotel was soon afterward built and opened to the 

Industries and Banks 

The Cambria Eoller ]\lills were built in 1871, and constitute the 
village's leading industry. It has a creamery, a canning factory, a 
solid business street, and two good banks; evidences that the village 
is the substantial center of a productive country and a substantial 

The oldest of the financial institutions of the village, the Bank of 
Cambria, was organized in 1881 by Edward Harris, of Mineral Point. 

Old Cambria Hotel (Remodeled) 

M. J. Rowlands, his brother-in-law, was his partner in the grain and 
lumber business. Mr. Rowlands bought the widow's interest in the 
bank. Mr. Harris died in 1894, and from that year until 1903 it was 
conducted by M. J. Rowlands & Son. In the latter year it was organ- 
ized as a state institution, without change of proprietorship, and a con- 
venient building erected for the transaction of its business. The Bank 
of Cambria has a capital of $10,000, with deposits of $180,000. 

The Cambria State Bank was organized September 30, 1909, has 
a capital of $15,000, with surplus of $5,000, and is a substantial institu- 
tion. Present officers : H. F. Schemmel, president; John Slinger, vice 
president; and E. 0. Roberts, cashier. 


"Welsh Calvanistic M. E. Church 

The "Welsh Calvanistic Methodist Church was organized in 1853 
by Rev. "William Jones with twenty-five members. Rev. John ap Jones, 
a local preacher, ministered to the congregation from its organization 
until June, 1857. The first services were held in the village schoolhouse, 
continuing therein until the erection of the first house of worship in 
1857. The church continued to wax strong in spirit and increase in 
membership, and in 1890 the large structure now occupied was com- 
pleted. Rev. J. 0. Parry is the present pastor. 

The English Presbyterl\n Church 

The English Presbyterians organized into a society in 1859, and a 
church building was erected in 1860-61. The first elder was John Pea- 
body, and the constituent members were ]\Irs. Peabody, Miss Peabody, 
John "\''an Middleworth and wife, Sarah "^an Middleworth, Mrs. John D. 
Jones and Robert Currie. Rev. Andrew Hardy was the first pastor of 
the church. The membership of the English Presbyterian Church of 
Cambria is nearly two hundred : Rev. D. Evans Jones, pastor in charge, 
is a newcomer to the village. The society worships in a modern church 
edifice, and is growing in every sense of the word. 

Evangelical Lutheran Zion's Congregation 

The beginning of Zion's Evangelical Lutheran Church dates back to 
the year 1887. In that year through the efforts of Julius Berger, Herman 
Rausch, Adolph Berger and others the Rev. Charles Sund, a Lutheran 
pastor residing at Markesan, was secured, some forty members in and 
near the "Village of Cambria pledging themselves to support the minister 
financially. As this little band of Christians did not feel strong enough 
to build a church immediately, they rented the Presbyterian Church as 
a place of worship. The Reverend Sund re-enforced by the Reverend 
Lanzer of "Waupun, as often as the latter could disengage himself from 
his regular duty, served the Cambria Lutherans for a period of two 
years. In the year 1889, the neighboring "Village of Randolph had a 
pastor in the person of the Rev. E. Schubarth, and thus he was engaged 
by the Cambria people, services now being held with more regularity. 
The Reverend Schubarth continued preaching at Cambria until 1891, 
when the Rev. F. Koch became his successor. As the congregation at 
Cambria had up to this time not really been organized, it was now duly 
organized as Zion's Evangelical Lutheran Congregation, with Ad. 


Berger, Herman Rauseh, and Christhof Krienke as trustees. During 
the Reverend Koch's pastorate services were also held at Pardeeville, 
with the result that a congregation was soon called into life at that place. 
The services were at first held in a school building a few miles out of 
Pardeeville, commonly called the ' ' slab schoolhouse, ' ' until several years 
later a church was erected in the village. 

In the year 1894, the Presbyterians at Cambria decided to build a 
new church and offered their church property for sale. The Lutheran 
congregation availed itself of this opportunity by purchasing this prop- 
erty at a reasonable price. As this church was rather large for the con- 
gregation a partition was built at one end, the portion cut off by the 
partition forming a schoolroom. This space has ever since served as 
a schoolroom, the different pastors making it their duty to teach the 
children of the congregation and give religious instructions to the cate- 
chumens in preparation for their confirmation. 

When the Reverend Koch discontinued his work at Randolph in the 
year 1898 in order to resume it at a different place, the congregations of 
Cambria and Pardeeville felt strong enough to retain a pastor of their 
own, and thus the Reverend Biedenweg became the first resident pastor of 
Cambria. The Reverend Biedenweg began preaching at Doylestown also, 
and a congregation was formed there. He served the congregations 
for a year only, being forced by ill health to retire from service. The 
Rev. H. Brockmann became his successor, being installed at Cambria 
in 1899. 

Up to this time the congregation had been renting a house for their 
pastor, but during the Reverend Brockmann 's pastorate a house was pur- 
chased by the congregation which has served as a parsonage ever since. 
When the Rev. H. Brockmann in 1902 accepted a call to Beaver Dam, 
the congregation secured the Rev. Beno Gladosch who, however, 
remained barely a year, going to Pox Point to become the assistant of 
his father-in-law, the Reverend Reuschel. The successor of the Reverend 
Gladosch was the Rev. A. Ph. Pankow, who remained at Cambria for 
seven years. During his stay here the parsonage was enlarged. As the 
congregation at Doylestown, together with a congregation at Fountain 
Prairie, was by this time supporting a minister of its own, the Reverend 
Pankow was able to center his work on the congregations at Cambria and 
Pardeeville. In 1910 the Reverend Pankow accepted a call to Cam- 
bridge, Wisconsin. The congregations at Cambria and Pardeeville were 
now without a pastor for about a year the Revs. Haase of Randolph and 
0. Koch of Columbus filling the vacancy as best they could. 

In May, 1911, the Rev. L. C. Kirst took charge of the congregations 
at Cambria and Pardeeville, coming to Cambria from Tomahawk, Wiscon- 


sin. During the last years the congregations have had a steady growth, 
owing to the large number of German Lutherans settling in this vicinity. 
Zion's congregation at Cambria has recently renovated the church and 
remodeled the parsonage, while St. John's at Pardeeville is at present 
writing, building a spacious schoolhouse. Ziou's congregation has at 
present forty-nine voting members and 173 communicating members, 
while St. John's at Pardeeville counts fifty-si.\ voting members and 
161 communicating members. About a year ago English work was 
taken up in both congregations with English preaching services ouce a 
month. With these services so well attended, and seeing that the Eng- 
lish work had become a necessity, the eougi-egation at Cambria decided 
to have one German service omitted every month in favor of an Eng- 
lish service. Both congregations have recently joined the Evangelical 
Lutheran Synod of Wisconsin and other states, a church body forming 
part of the Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference of North 
America, which has a membership of over a million souls. 

JIoREis J. Rowlands 

The interesting article entitled "Advent of the First Settlers of Welsh 
Prairie and Cambria, "' was prepared and contributed by ilorris J. 
Rowlands. As a representative of that fine Welsh element that has been 
so conspicuous in the development of Columbia County, and as one of 
the most influential citizens and bankers of Cambria and vicinity, it is 
appropriate that some specific mention of his family and himself should 
be contained in this work. 

His parents were John R. and Jane (Closs) Rowlands, both natives 
of Carnarvon Shire, Wales. In the summer of 1845, they emigrated to 
America with a family of seven children, whose names were John R., Jr., 
Robert J., Humphrey J., Owen J., Miss Ellen, Dorothy Jane and M. J. 
Rowlands. As they were among the first settlers in the Town of Spring- 
vale, then called Leroy Precinct, while Wisconsin was still under ter- 
ritorial government, the important incidents of their coming are related 
in the article above referred td. A patent still on record, given by 
President James K. Polk to John R. Rowlands, shows that the father 
on his arrival bought the south half of Section 10 and the north half 
of Section 15 in Town 12 north, Range 11 east, and at once began farm- 
ing. In his native country he had followed the occupation of quarry- 
man, and therefore was at a distinct disadvantage in adapting himself 
to the untried calling of a farmer, and his own inexperience was the 
greater handicap because he could find no experienced farmer in that 
sparsely settled region to consult with. However, his industry, his 


progressive trend of mind, and his enthusiasm enabled him to make a 
fair success, and he contrived to prosper. At the same time he was very- 
active in the organization of the new settlement, and it is noteworthy 
that his name appeared at the head of the list of those who took out 
their naturalization papers in Columbia County in the fall of 1845. 
He also lent a willing hand to the newcomers who followed him to this 
pioneer district, John R. Rowlands was one of the fine factors in 
organizing the first church society in his precinct, and in building the 
first church in the northeastern part of Columbia County, known as 
"Sion" church. He served as its deacon for many years. A man of 
great industry, leading a quiet, sober life, he continued that character 
up to his old age, and passed away at Cambria, January 19, 1883, in 
his eighty-fourth year. His kind and faithful wife had preceded him 
to the grave thirteen years, on September 21, 1869. 

Morris J. Rowlands, who was a small boy when the family emi- 
grated to this country, was born in Wales, July 4, 1840. With the 
example of his father, and his older brothers before him, he took up 
farming as his first vocation, and a few years after reaching manhood 
established a home of his own by his marriage on December 21, 1866, 
to iliss Catherine Owens. She was born in Wales, April 25, 1842, the 
youngest daugliter of David and Jane Owens. The Owens family emi- 
grated to America in 1847, there being ten children, six sons and four 
daughters. David Owens, who had engaged in the sheep industry in 
his native land, had accumulated more wealth than the average emi- 
grant of that time, and on his arrival in the Town of Springvale took 
up about six hundred and eighty aicres of land, in Sections 14, 2.3 and 
36. By his own management, with the help of his sons and such as 
he was able to hire, he developed a splendid farm, and became one of 
the most substantial men of the county. At the age of sixty-four David 
Owens died, leaving behind him a record not only of individual pros- 
perity, but of long continued service as a friend to the poor and needy. 
His good wife followed him. in "March, 1875. Between the influential 
families of the Rowlands and the Owens subsist many intimate ties not 
only of marriage but of community and religious co-operation. Previous 
to the marriage of Morris J. Rowlands and Catherine Owens there had 
been two other marriages contracted between members of the two fam- 
ilies. The first, celebrated in April, 1853, was between John R. Row- 
lands, Jr. and Owen Owens. The second took place in January, 1864, 
between David D. Owens and Miss Dorothy Jane Rowlands. 

After twenty years of married life on the farm, Mr. Rowland's son 
David M., having entered commercial college at Milwaukee, the father 
and mother moved to the Town of Cambria, where he engaged in a part- 
nership with his brother-in-law, Edward Harris, in the grain and lumber 


Mr. Harris, who was the proprietor and organizer of the 
Bank of Cambria, died six years later, and Mr. Rowlands then bought 
the interests of his sister, Jlrs. Harris, iu the bank, and took an active 
part iu the management of that institution, which was established more 
than thirty years ago. His son, David M. Rowlands, had been cashier 
of the bank while it was in the possession of his uncle, and the father 
and sou have since continued this management, M. J. Rowlands as presi- 
dent, and D. M. Rowlands as cashier. The bank was organized under 
the state law in 1903. Its record deserves some comment. During the 
panic of 1907, when most of the banking institutions of the state had 
to avail themselves of the protection of sixty days" notice to depositors, 
the Bank of Cambria did hot iu a single instance refuse payment of a 
draft, deposit or any other commercial paper presented over its counter. 

Among the varied possessions acquired and retained by Mr. Row- 
lands is the old homestead on which his father first settled on coming 
to this country, and its ownership he regards as something sacred and 
intends to keep it under the management of the family for at least a 
few generations to come, thus carrying out what had been a cherished 
wish of his pioneer father. 

Mr. M. J. Rowlands has actively identified himself with the affairs 
of his locality, occupied the offiee of town clerk of Spring\'ale and clerk 
of the Town of Courtland, altogether about fifteen years, was a member 
of the county board ten years and was president of the Village of Cam- 
bria, when it was reorganized under state charter. In his love for and 
interest in music Mr. Rowlands manifests a talent somewhat peculiar 
to his people. When he was eighteen years old he was elected leader 
of the church choir, and with others was incidental in organizing the 
Welsh Musical Union of Wisconsin, of which he served as secretary for 
many years and also as one of its conductors. His choir was successful 
in winning several of the prizes awarded at the Welsh Eisteddfod. From 
childhood he has been a member of the W. C. M. Church, and affiliates 
with the Masonic, Order. 

Of the three sons born to Mr. Rowlands, two died in infancy. D. M. 
Rowlands, the oldest of the children, has for some years been in part- 
nership with his father in all his enterprises, and at the present time 
bears the heaviest part of the responsibility, acting as vice president 
and cashier of the bank, superintending the farm, and giviug much of 
his attention to the breeding and raising of thorough-bred live stock, 
of which he has a line of fine Red Poll cattle and Hampshire hogs. 

D. M. Rowlands was married July 6, 1898, to Miss Emma Davies, 
daughter of Edwin and Jane Davies of Cambria. To this union have 
been born two sons: Morris J. Rowlands. Jr., born July 21, 1899; and 
Edwin Myrwin Rowlands, bom April 1, 1901. 



Village of Today — Its Naming, a Mistake — Judge Doty Intended 
"Pauqubtte" — Village Platted — Poynette in 1855 — First 
School — Crusty Bachelors Withhold Tax — First Preaching — 
The Times that Tried Men and Women — The Jamieson Family — 


Grain Trade — Bank of Poynette — School History — The 
Churches — The Methodists Organize — Rev. John M. Springer, 
Wab Hero — The Presbyterian Church — The Lutherans and 

The little Village of Poynette in the southwestern part of Columbia 
County is a station on the Southern Division of the Chicago, Milwaukee 
& St. Pavil Railroad. Its location is also on Rowan's Creek, a water- 
power stream tributary to the Wisconsin River. 

Village of Today 

It is the banking and trading center of a prosperous agi'ieultural 
field, and you therefore find there such establishments as a creamery, feed 
mill and sorghum factor.v, grain elevator and salting station for cucum- 
ber pickles. Poynette has also several produce houses, a lumber yard 
and a flourishing bank, and is the headquarters of quite a telephone 
system, which is of great convenience to the villagers and to the farmers 
for miles around. The village has a good gi-aded school and an adequate 
system of waterworks. It has a number of churches representative of 
both faiths and nationalities; so that altogether the community has no 
need to look elsewhere to satisfy its material, educational or spiritual 



Its Naming, a Mistake 

The naming of the Village of Poynette was rather an unfortunate mis- 
take. As Rowan's Creek perpetuated the name of the county's first 
permanent settler, it was the intention of the pioneers that Pauquette, 
the widely known fur trader and interpreter at the portage, should be 
remembered in the christening of this village on Rowan's Creek; but 
fate decreed that it should receive a meaningless name. 

Judge Doty Intended ' ' Pauquette ' ' 

James Duane Doty, who was to become governor of the territory in 
1841, entered 120 acres of land in the Southeast Quarter of Section 34, 
Township 11, Range 9, on the 8th of February, 1837, and caused it to 
be laid out as the Village of Pauquette. In the earlier years the intelli- 
gent and faithful trader was a warm friend of the able and enterprising 
governor. But the following year after the village was platted Mr. Doty 
was elected to Congress, and his long after career of public service tended 
to divert his mind from such minor affairs as the village-to-be on Rowan 's 
Creek. The plat was therefore vacated. 

About the year 1850, application was made by Mr. Doty to the post- 
office department for the establishment of a postoffice at that point, to 
be called Pauquette. Through a clerical error it was called Poynette. 
No effort was ever made to correct the name, and when the village was 
again platted it was called Poynette, after the postoffice. 

Village Platted 

In 18.51 Sanuiel B, Piiiney made the first plat of the village, which 
comprised the Northeast Quarter of the Southeast Quarter of Section 
34. Shortly thereafter he transferred it to John Thomas. 

Poynette in 1855 

One of the residents of Poynette No. 2, writing about 1880, thus pic- 
tures the village as it was a few years after Mr. Pinney had passed it 
over to Mr. Thomas. ' ' There were about a dozen inhabitants in the vil- 
lage of Poynette twenty-five years ago and four dwelling houses, includ- 
ing the public house kept by Hugh Jamieson," he saj^s. "S. B. Thomas 
who kept the postoffice (John Thomas was the postmaster), Hubbard 
Johnson and Hugh Jamieson — the latter just married and occupying one 
apartment of a double log house, while the other served as a schoolroom. 
It was Poynette 's first school. 


First School 

"The inhabitants contemplated building a schoolhouse, and in order 
to draw the public money they had to have a school ; so they taxed the 
inhabitants to raise money to pay a teacher, for whose services they paid 
six dollars per month. For something to eat the teacher walked home 
with her scholars, sometimes two or three miles out in the country; for 
Poynette was a village (why not?) with hotel, postoffice, and black- 
smith shop. I used to hear people say that Poynette would be as large 
as Portage City some day. 

Crusty Bachelors Withhold T.vx 

"The school numbered twenty-four scholars, but twelve or fifteen 
was the usual attendance. An old bachelor refused to pay his tax for 
the reason he had no children to send to school. Another (not an old 
bachelor) withheld a portion of his tax, claiming that a certain young 
man who was paying his addresses to the teacher owed him. He was 
holding on to see how matters progressed ; if they married he was going 
to turn it in, and if not he v.'ould pay the teacher some time. Of the 
scholars only two are now residents of Poynette — Courtland Brown and 
John Wilson. Of the rest, some have died, some are in Iowa, some in 
Minnesota, some in Missouri and one in New York — now a Methodist 

"I remember a snow storm the 11th of June. As I was on my way 
to school, I saw a man in the field near the roadside planting corn, with 
overcoat and mittens on. The same was Hugh Jamieson. When I arrived 
at the schoolhouse the scholars were there ; and as most of them were bare- 
footed and there was no fire in the schoolroom, they had to go home and 
wait for fair weather. The house was built by Wallace Rowan and, since 
vacated, has served for the purposes of a drygoods store, postoffice, school- 
house and meeting house. 

First Preaching 

"A Mr. Cornell, a Baptist minister, used to come to Poynette. He 
usually sent an appointment to preach on the Sabbath. Of the dozen 
inhabitants, no two held the same faith or belonged to the same order. 
Mrs. Johnson was the only Methodist. 

" H. P. Jamieson was the first white child bom in the village of Poy- 
nette. Mr. Thomas was postmaster, and the mail matter was kept in 
an old tool chest in one corner of the kitchen. 


The Times that Tried IVIen and Women 

"It is a difficult matter for the youth of the present day to under- 
stand that at the time of which I write, the fleet-footed deer and the wily 
prairie wolf might occasionally be seen where the iron horse now plunges 
along, heavily laden with the products of a country which then scarcely 
furnished more than the inhabitants required for immediate use; for 
scarcely a foot of land on the prairie south of our now prosperous and 
flourishing village was under cultivation, except a very few pieces adjoin- 
ing the timber. If, however, they had a few bushels of grain to spare 
which they wished to convert into cash, they hauled it to Milwaukee, a 
distance of more than a hundred miles. This journey was usually per- 
formed with oxen, taking from eight to twelve and sometimes fifteen 
days, to make the round trip. In those days men had many disagreeable 
duties to perform emd, knowing this, they nerved themselves to the task 
and went at it with a will and determination to succeed." 

The Jamieson Family 

There is no family which has been so prominent since the founding 
of Poynette to the present time as that of the Jamiesons — (Hugh and his 
sons, Hugh P., Addison J., and John C. The father was the prince of 
hotel keepers, being, at times, proprietor of the old Rowan Hotel, the 
Poynette House (which he erected himself in 1856), and the American 
House. The sons mentioned, who were all born in the village, own and 
manage its bank and its leading house dealing in grain, lumber, build- 
ing materials, farm machinery, etc. ; in fact, they represent the largest 
financial and business interests of the place. In this connection, we are 
pleased to state that following this chapter is a very interesting and 
strictly authentic story from the pen of Hugh Jamieson, which not only 
deals with Poynette and vicinity, but with a more extended territory 
in Southern Wisconsin, over which he traveled in the daj's of his young 
and vigorous manhood. This fine old pioneer took vigorous exception 
to the assertion, generally accepted as history, that Wallace Rowan 
was the county's first permanent settler; and the reader is referred to 
his paper for the grounds of his claim. 

Poynette as a Flour Center 

For a number of years Poynette was quite a flour center, the Lower 
Mills being erected in 1858 and the Upper Mill in 1860. The Lower Mills 
especially had a large local trade and were well patronized by the farm- 


ing community. But tlie coming of the railroad in 1870, although it 
stimulated business in many ways, had the effect of bringing better 
brands of flour to the village than could be supplied by the local plants. 
The Madison & Portage Railroad was completed to Poynette in October, 
1870; this is now the Southern Division of the Chicago, Milwaukee & 
St. Paul. 

Rivalry of the "Sides" 

Until that time the growth of the village was quite slow ; its popula- 
tion had not reached more than one hundred and fifty inhabitants, and 
its business was all upon the south side of Rowan's Creek, with the 
exception of Jamieson's Hotel. 

The Grain Trade 

On the completion of the railroad R. B. Wentworth & Company, of 
Portage, built a small warehouse and for two seasons purchased grain 
at Poynette. In the summer of 1871, Hugh Jamieson erected what was 
then a large elevator, with a storage capacity of 12,000 bushels and com- 
menced the business of buying and shipping. He continued the busi- 
ness for seven years, withdrawing in 1878 in favor of his son, H. P. Jamie- 
son and W. C. Gault. Thus was founded the business now conducted 
on a much enlarged scale, by the Jamieson Brothers' Company, which 
was incorporated in 1909 and is an outgrowth of the firm Jamieson 
Brothers, formed in 1890. 

Bank op Poynette 

The Bank of Poynette was established in 1894, as a private institution 
by the Jamieson Brothers — H. P., A. J. and J. C. In 1903, under the 
general law, it was incorporated as a state bank, and in 1908 its capital 
stock was increased from $6,000 to .$10,000. Its capital remains the 
same ; undivided profits about five thousands dollars, and deposits, 

School History 

In 1852, a school district was formed comprising Sections 34 and 35, 
TowTi of De Korra, and Sections 2 and 3, and North Quarter of 10 and 
11, Arlington, which was c.alled Joint District No. 4 of the towns of 
De Korra and Arlington. A one-story frame schoolhouse was built half 


a miles south of the VUlage of Poynette, which was used until 1867, 
when it became too small for the needs of the community. A room was 
rented in the village for the higher department, the primary alone occu- 
pying the schoolroom. In the fall of 1867, a large two-story schoolhouse 
was erected and occupied by the high school and the grammar grades 
jointly. William Koepke is now principal of the well organized Union 
School of Poynette. 

The Churches 

The ilethodists, Presbyterians, German Lutherans and Catholics have 
societies at Poynette. The M. E. Church is the oldest and the strongest. 

The Methodist-s Org.ustize 

Before the platting of the second village in 1851, the few Methodists 
at and near the present site of Poynette had listened to Rev. Henry May- 
nard, at the house of A. Johnson. This was about 1846, soon after Lodi 
and Poj-nette had been set off from the Madison Circuit. Mr. Maynard 
afterward preached regularly at the house of Clark M. Young, a short 
distance from the village. In 1853, Poynette was separated from Lodi; 
for some years thereafter religious services were conducted in the school- 
house. The membership increased so rapidly that by 1860, it had reached 
180. most of the attendance, of course, being drawn from territory ou1> 
side the village, and about 1862, a neat and commodious house of worship 
was erected. 

Rev. John M. Springer, "War Hero 

From the fall of 1862 until the summer of 1863, the pulpit of the 
Methodist Church was filled by Rev. John M. Springer. He was drafted 
for military service, and appointed chaplain of his regiment. While fill- 
ing that position at the battle of Resaea. the captain and first and second 
lieutenants of his company fell, when he seized a musket and led on the 
charge. He was soon mortally wounded and carried from the field, say- 
ing in his last moments to Charles Early, a comrade, "I have lived what 
I preached in our northern home, and die in the favor of God." No 
pastor of that church is more revered than Rev. John M. Springer. 

About 1875, the church building was moved from the present site of 
the Catholic Church to the location it now occupies, and greatly improved. 
Among its later pastors who have been especially prominent in the 


upbuilding of the church was Eev. J. W. Barrett, who occupied the 
pulpit for five years. The Methodist Episcopal Church has now a mem- 
bership of over one hundred and ninety, with Rev. D. H. Fleet as pastor. 

The Presbyterian Church 

On April 24, 1867, a committee appointed by the Presbytery of Colum- 
bus, consisting of Revs. Warren Mays and James A. Lowrie and Elder 
John B. Dwinnell, visited Poynette in company with Rev. B. G. Riley, 
district secretary of Home Missions, and Rev. A. G. Dunning, for the pur- 
pose of organizing a ichurch. An organization was effected by Augustus 
P. Smith, Caroline A. Smith, Augustus 0. Dole, Sarah E. Dole, Harvey 
J. Sill, Miranda M. Sill, Adaline Youmans, John Watson, Elizabeth Wat- 
son, John Forsythe, Margaret Forsythe, Mrs. Jeannet Campbell and Mrs. 
Agnes Campbell. In January, 1874, a church edifice was completed. 
The longest service in the pastorate of the Presbyterian Church of Poy- 
nette was that of Rev. William L. Green, D. D., who was in charge from 
1882 to 1898. It was during the second year of his pastorate that the 
Poynette Presbyterian Academy was established. The present member- 
ship of the church, in charge of Rev. C. L. Richards, is about ninety. 

The Lutheeans and Catholics 

Rev. Martin Mencke is the pastor of the German Lutheran Church, 
and the Catholics are served by Rev. Joseph Gabriels, assistant to Rev. 
John Morrissey, of St. Mary's Parish, Portage. 



Hugh Jamieson's Youth in Scotland — Booked for America — The 
Route to Columbia County — Arrives at the Site of Poynette — 
Prices and Taxes in the "iOs — Teaming Over Southern Wiscon- 
sin — The Railroads — Commences to Improve Land in 1850 — 
Pr.\ibie Fires — Breaking Up the Land — Pioneer Plow for Heavy 
Work — First Land Entered in the County — Gets Curious about 
Miss Thomas — Married by Squire Curtis — The Thomas Family — 
Union School and Church — Rowan Was Not First Settler — 
Purchases a Hotel — First Village Plat op Poynette — School 
District of 1852 — An Important Year — Why the Hotel Paid 
Well — Buys ]\Iore Land — Railroad from Madison to Portage — 
A Boom for Poynette — Completes New and Larger Hotel — Rail- 
road Work Cease? — Yet Local Improvements Progress — Admitted 
to Citizenship — Plats Jamieson's Addition — Rivalry of North 
AND South Sides — War Times in the County — Securing Volun- 
teers for the Union — Railroad Projects (1861-62) — Labor and 
Crops in War Times — Chairman of the Board Again — Railroad 
Work Resumed — Sugar River Valley Railroad Sold — Improve- 
ment OF South Poynette — Fall of Richmond Celebrated — 
Decline of War Prices — Local Improvements after the War — 
Health Failing — Sixteen Years a Hotel Keeper — Again De- 
feated by Mr. Turner — Formation of the Madison & Portage 
Railroad — Town Votes Aid to the Road — The Meeting at ilAoi- 
SON — "Old Beeswax" and George B. Smith — "Jack of Clltbs" 
Sustained — Store for Railroad Men — Transfer of Town 
Bonds for Railroad Stock — Bond Question Traced to the End — 
"Old Beeswax" Got There — Establishes Grain Business — 
Cheese Factory Established — Business Passes to Jamieson 
(H. p.) & Gault (W. O— Farm Machinery and Supplies— 
Justly Proud of His Homestead — Retrospect in 1883 — His Re- 
ligious Creed — Good Family Stock — Mr. Jamieson's Death. 

Hugh Jamieson bought land in the town of De Korra in 1849, and 
from 1851 was a permanent resident of Poynette and vicinity. Besides 

^ 1^ 



being a pioneer, he was a man of more than ordinary prominence in 
connection with the life and ai¥airs of his locality. Among his impor- 
tant services to Columbia County was the writing, during his leisure 
hours in a period of semi-invalidism in 1881-82, of a manuscript of 
about three hundred and fifty pages, relating the story of his own life 
in Scotland and Wisconsin, and many incidental facts and events con- 
nected with contemporary affaii'S of the counties in which he lived. 
In style he reminds one of Robert Louis Stevenson, and interspersed 
in his simple relation of the events which revolved about his career are 
many philosophical episodes, which give his memoirs a charm and in- 
struction above those of any which it has been the fortune of the 
present editor to read. The entire manuscript is of course too long 
for publication here, but that portion dealing with his life in Columbia 
County is probably the best available account of the times, especially aU 
that concerns the founding and early history of Poynette. The follow- 
ing is therefore an abstract of those memoirs condensed and edited ap- 
propriately for publication as a chapter of this history of Columbia 

Hugh Jamieson's Youth in Scotland 

Hugh Jamieson was bom at Underbill, Parish of Loudon, Ayrshire, 
Scotland, May 15, 1829. His father Hugh soon moved to a manufac- 
turing village named Newmilns, where he died when Hugh, Jr. was two 
years old. The mother, Janet Pindlay, a daughter of John, was left 
with four children, John and Hugh, and Janet and Agnes, all of whom 
became residents of Wisconsin, and were living at the time the memoirs 
were written in the early '80s — John in Rock County, and the rest in 
Columbia County. Three other children died in infancy. 

In the picturesque valley of the Irvine where NewmiLns lay, beneath 
the lofty Loudon hill, in a land celebrated by Robert Burns, Hugh 
Jamieson grew from infancy through boyhood. When about five years 
old he was first sent to school, with his "A B C board" suspended by a 
string around his neck. In school he soon learned the use of the "taws" 
as the leather strap, ending in lashes, and employed for punishment, 
was called. There were few holidays. The dominie's presents of 
whiskey, rum, or brandy, among other gifts to the scholars, were a 
feature of that school experience which will strike Americans as the 
strangest contrast between the Scotch education of that time and our 
stricter American morality. Three years later he went to another school, 
where he made good progress and began the study of Latin at the age 
of ten. Mr. Jamieson claims that the methods and results of instrue- 


tions were not so far behind those of modem days as some people sup- 
pose. In that second school he attended four years, except for a few 
months of service as "the drawboy" in a weaving shop or "loomstead, " 
conducted by Robert Wilson, who married the older Jamieson daughter. 
At the age of twelve, Hugh got restless and wanted to earn his 
own support. His mother finally yielded, and he was bound for three 
years' apprenticeship at the weaver trade with his brother-in-law. He 
had his disappointments over his frequent failures at expertness of 
the regular artisan, and would gladly have annulled the contract, but 
in time was in a fair way to become a tolerable good weaver. His work 
hours were from six or seven in the morning, until eight or nine in the 
evening, with little time for meals. During that experience he learned 
much from association with and as an auditor to the weavers in their 
discussions of politics and other current questions. Though able to earn 
good wages by the end of his apprenticeship, he detested the trade and 
gladly accepted employment under a former captain of the British 
army, a very ugly tempered man, whose service by no means proved 
congenial. At the end of his first term he found an excuse for declin- 
ing re-employment, saying he hoped to go to America with his brother 
John, who had recently returned from that country. When he sug- 
gested to his employer the possibility of leaving Scotland for America, 
the latter exclaimed with an oath ! "Go to America ! Do you know what 
the Americans are? They are nothing but a lot of cutthroats and 
thieves, that ran away from this country and other countries in Europe 
to escape hanging or other punishments that would have been inflicted 
upon them if they had not left." Despite this opinion, Hugh Jamieson 
held to his determination to leave his first place of employment, but 
instead of going to America, he attended the Kilmarnock Fair, where 
employers and employees met and arranged terms of service for the 
following six months. Hugh engaged with a farmer near Kilmarnock, 
at wages of four pounds sterling and board and washing. He was then 
between fifteen and sixteen years of age. His work was chiefly the 
delivering of milk to a route of customers, and he states that the training 
in system and order acquired during that time proved very valuable in 
his later business career. His service was continued two terms, and 
he then engaged for six months at a less home-like place, also as a milk 
seller. Toward the close of the last term he spent a few days in Glas- 
gow, and secured work in a spirit shop at six shillings a week. A change 
was soon made to another similar shop, where he stayed some eight 
months. The employment was not congenial and during that period he 
witnessed many hard scenes and saw much of the coarser side of life. 
Mr. Jamieson then opened a spirit shop of his own, his brother taking 


a half interest. At the end of four or five months, his shop was fairly 
prospering, and as it required only one person to manage it, Hugh then 
took employment with a victualing and provision store. That was in 
the fall of 1847. The following winter was one of great scarcity, and 
was marked by many troubles and riots in Glasgow. 

Booked for America 

Early in the next spring, John Jamieson once more turned his atten- 
tion toward the United States, and secured passage on a boat sailing from 
Glasgow, April 15th. This caused Hugh Jamieson to resume the liquor 
business as proprietor and manager. A few days later an opportunity to 
sell was presented and accepted, and while he was negotiating for an- 
other location, an evening was spent in company with some people pre- 
paring to go abroad on the same vessel as his brother. One of the ladies 
inquired, why he too did not accompany his brother. His reply was 
that he had given the subject no thought, but the succeeding night his. 
mind was so filled with the matter that he had little sleep. In the morn- 
ing he decided that if a passage could be secured he would go with his 
brother. A visit to the company's office resulted in his being booked, 
and thus one of those momentous problems in an individual career was 
solved and all his subsequent life given an entirely new direction. 

The Route to Columbia County 

He had not yet reached his nineteenth birthday. Youthful emo- 
tions are strong, if not persistent, and it was with a heavy heart he re- 
visited the home of his boyhood and took farewell of old friends and 
associations. Especially trying was his separation from his mother and 
sisters, who came to Glasgow to see him off. Then the good ship "ilar- 
garet" of Greenock bore him away towards the new western world. A 
stormy voyage of thirty-one days brought the ship to New York. 
Friends and relatives of the Jamieson brothers had already found homes 
in the then very young state of Wisconsin. That western frontier 
country was also their destination. A steamboat took them up the Hud- 
son river to Albany, where they entered upon their journey by boat 
through the Erie canal to Buffalo. At Buffalo they embarked on the 
' ' Queen City, ' ' then making her first regular trip up the lakes, four days 
later arriving in Milwaukee. Two farmers who had brought wheat to 
the city carried the travelers toward Whitewater, in which vicinity 
their uncle then lived. Two days then brought them to Whitewater. 
In a short time Hugh Jamieson hired out to a farmer in the neighbor- 
hood. It was a lonesome contrast between the busy city of Glasgow and 


the lonely cornfield in which he began his Wisconsin career. His work 
for Mr. Sloeum lasted three months, chiefly in the heavy harvest sea- 
sou, when cradles and scythes were the only implements, and his wages 
for that time was thirty-four dollars. However, owing to the scarcity 
of ready money, and the difficulty for transportation of product, these 
wages were dela.yed a long time, and in various parts of his early nar- 
rative I\Ir. Jamieson proved the difficulties which beset all the early 
settlers in Wisconsin who had little or no money themselves, and were 
only at long intervals to get a meagre supply by taking their products 
over the rough roads to the lake ports. The next winter, buj-ing some 
oxen, he got out logs for a sawmill. 

During the spring of 1849 Mr. Jamieson 's two sisters and their hus- 
bands arrived at Whitewater. Mr. Jamieson and his brother-in-law, 
Robert Wilson, then started north to hunt some land for the latter. 
James Paton, whom they had known in Scotland, was then living in 
the town of De Korra in Columbia County, and him they determined 
to visit. 

Arrives at Site op Poynette 

This brings the narrative flithin the scope of Columbia county, and 
hence forward direct quotations wherever practicable will continue the 
storj^ of this pioneer. "Our .iourney was made on foot, and some time 
in the fore part of July we i-eached Mr. Raton's on the second day about 
noon, having traveled sixty miles in a day and a half. Here we found 
Mr. Hugh Sloan, who with Mr. Paton showed us what land they knew 
of that was for sale in their vicinity. The northeast quarter of section 
thirty-four, to\raship eleven, range nine, where a part of the village 
of Poynette now stands, was at that time unoccupied. It belonged, 
however, to the heirs of Alexander Seymour Hoey. " After a consid- 
erable delay thev effected the purchase of this one hundred and sixty 
acres at a price of three hundred and twenty dollars, being two dollars 
■ an acre, and then returned to Whitewater, where Hugh Jamieson com- 
pleted his harvesting. By the sale of his grain, after it was taken to 
Milwaukee, he had about one hundred and sixty dollars in capital, 
enough to buy a ffood team of horses at that time. To buy horses he 
and a companion went across country to Chicago and took a boat to 
New Buffalo, and thence to Laporte, in Indiana. There he secured a 
team for one hundred and fifty dollars. His intention was to engage 
in teaming, hauling grain to lake ports, returning with merchandise 
for the local merchants, and also giving transportation service to immi- 
grants and their families moving into Wisconsin. In the course of the 


winter of 1849-50 Mr. Jamieson made several trips to Portage, where 
he loaded with lumber, then cheap, and hauled it back to the neighbor- 
hood of Whitewater. 

Prices and Taxes in the '40s 

"Pork was also cheap in those days. I have bought it as low as $2.50 
per hundred pounds in the carcass, sometimes I found wheat to haul 
from Dekorra or near there. The price paid for hauling wheat from 
Dekorra to Milwaukee at that time was from thirty to thirty-five cents 
per bushel, and when wheat brought eighty to eightj'-five cents per 
bushel in Milwaukee, so that it netted the farmers and merchants who 
sent it fifty cents per bushel, they were generally well satisfied. This 
price, however, 'was seldom attained unless the wheat was a very choice 
article. I have hauled wheat from the vicinity of Whitewater to Mil- 
waukee, and sold it for forty-eight cents per bushel about that time, 
but it was not a number one article, and after paying twenty cents for 
hauling, the farmer had but little left. Still such prices were not at all 
uncommon in those days. At this time taxes were very light, however, 
which was some help to the farmer. The first tax I paid in Columbia 
County was for the year 1848. This year's taxes should have been paid 
by the party from whom I purchased the land, as I made the purchase 
in 1849, but it had not been paid by them, and I found when I came to 
pay my taxes for the year following that the taxes on my eighty acres 
■which was the east half of the northeast quarter of section thirty-four, 
township eleven, range nine, was two dollars and thirty cents for the 
year 1848, and two dollai*s and seventy-four cents for the year 
following. ' ' 

Teaming over Southern Wisconsin 

The experiences of Mr. Jamieson while teaming over all this south- 
ern Wisconsin country were marked by many interesting incidents, but 
only brief quotations can be made. The following throws some light 
on the early conditions of society along the well traveled highways and 
especially concerning the discussions and social habits which marked the 
old-time houses of entertainment. "The bar-room of a country hotel 
in those days was rather an interesting place, and on most public thor- 
oughfares and roads leading to the principal market was in the even- 
ings generally crowded with men from nearly all parts of both Europe 
and America, and many a good joke was played upon the innocent and 
unsuspecting stranger if he happened to venture any remark whereby 
it could be inferred that he thought he knew a little more than those 


around him. The eastern man, as he was termed, was very apt to fall 
into this error, for in his opinion, the habits, manners and customs of 
the western people were borrowed from the East, which to a certain 
extent were perfectly correct, and while the western man was perhaps 
M'illiug to admit this, he could not admit that those who had iirst left 
the eastern states and came West were in any way inferior to those 
who remained behind him, or followed him a few years after. In the 
bar-rooms everything^ was discussed, politics, religion and agriculture 
being the leading topics ; no question whatever of any importance could 
arise, however, but what was thoroughly ventilated and keenly criti- 
cised. I have heard some very able arguments made in those bar- 
rooms, and although perhaps in some instances, they were not of a very 
refined character, in general there was something to be learned and 
many good points were made during their continuance." 

The Railroads 

That was an era when considerable railroad building was being done 
in "Wisconsin and throughout the United States, but many more roads 
were built on paper than on the ground. Mr. Jamieson's narrative 
throws much light on the attitude of the people towards railroads, but 
the following brief quotation is all that can be taken from the half 
dozen pages or more which he devoted to the subject. "In the early 
days of railroading in Wisconsin, a great many people were Cjuite con- 
fident that i-ailroads would prove a great drawback to the eoimtry. It 
was claimed that the market for coarse grains would be totally destroyed, 
and that after they were completed both man and beast would be left 
without anything to do. And to see the enormous amount of traffic 
in marketing grain, which was then all done by horses and oxen (the 
latter being very extensivel.y used in hauling lead from the lead mines 
in the southwestern part of the state to Milwaukee), it did seem as 
though their fears were likely to be realized. Notwithstanding those 
sayings and the fears of many, railroads continued to be built, and who 
at that time dreamt of the magnitude these railroads were destined in 
a few short years to assume, and which undoubtedly far exceeded the 
most sanguine expectations of their most earnest advocates At a time 
when the carrying trade of the country was all done by horses and 
oxen, it would seem as though accidents resulting in loss of life should 
be almost entirely unknown ; such, however, was not the case. ]\Iany 
a very serious accident occurred and quite a number resulted fatallj'. " 

Commences to Improve Land in 1850 
Mr. Jamieson's regular work as a teamster continued until the 
winter of 1850-51. T^p to that time he had done nothing of any conse- 


quence for the improvement of his land in Columbia County. "I now 
determined to make some improvements and prepare a home, so it might 
be ready in case I should come to require one. I accordingly disposed 
of this team and purchased a younger one, and a yoke of oxen, and with 
axe, beetle, and wedges proceeded cutting timber and splitting rails 
for fencing purposes, with as much energy or vim as the veritable old 
Abe himself or any other rail-splitter probably ever possessed. It was 
hard work, however, and I soon found that out, but there was no help 
for it. The work must be done or the land would remain as it had done 
for centuries, perhaps, very beautiful indeed, but yielding nothing 
toward the payment of taxes or affording support for its owner. . . . 
During the latter part of the winter, I succeeded in preparing quite 
a number of rails and had them hauled onto the ground ready for mak- 
ing fence when I should require it. In the spring I had some ten acres 
prepared for breaking up, and in the latter part of May and first of 
June, I got about six acres broke or ploughed, and planted some of it 
to sod corn. This was in the spring and summer of 1851. 

Pkairie Fires 

"Early in the spring of this year I witnessed some of the largest 
prairie fires I had ever seen. The greater portion of the prairie, south 
of where I lived Cand which, if I remember right, was at that time 
•known as the town of Kossuth) was burned over and as there was no 
stock kept on this prairie at this time and the land being very rich, the 
grass grew very rank and heavy, and when dry in the spring, it required 
but the touch of a lighted match, or in some instances the burning ashes 
from a smoker's pipe to ignite it. Sometimes fires were set purposely, 
that the young fresh gTass might spring up earlier than it would if 
the old dry grass was left to cover the gi'ound and prevent it from 
thawing out as the old grass would do if not burned off. When these 
fires were set purposely, it was generally done by some of the few people 
who at that time lived along the margin of the prairie or in the timber 
near it, so that what few cattle they did have might find green feed 
as early in the spring as possible. And in many cases fires were set 
where people intended breaking up the land, for the purpose of getting 
rid of the grass, which if not burned was quite a serious impediment 
to the plough. And in fact, scarcely any land at that time on that 
prairie could be broken up without first burning it over. When I first 
traveled over that prairie, there was some where about ten miles without 
the sign of a human habitation. Soon, however, a house was built by 
Mr. L. S. Pratt, about a mile out on the prairie, when the distance was 


then only between eight and nine miles from his house to the next house 
south of him on the same road, and it was several years after before 
any one ventured to erect a habitation between. It was a tiresome, 
dreary journey, when performed on foot, to travel over this prairie in 
those days. Not even a drop of water was to be found except at a 
small pond, called the goose pond, near the center or about half the dis- 
tance across, and as this water was surface or seep water, it was unfit 
to use only by cattle or horses. A fire on this prairie, however, at that 
time was one of the most magnifieent sights I ever witnessed. I remem- 
ber crossing it one time after nightfall when a terrible fire was burning 
on both sides of the road. The fire seemed to have been .set by some one 
or more persons and was perhaj^s ujawards of a mile in length. It 
had been carried east and west, while the road ran north and south. 
The night was calm and still, and the fire burned each way from where 
it seemed to have been set. When I reached it, it had burned so that 
the two lines of fire and smoke were from ten to fifteen rods apart, 
and on a straight and continuous line for a considerable distance. Such 
fires however, were quite dangerous, and sometimes very injurious, 
both to those by whom they were set and others who happened to live 
near them, when they happened to get beyond their control, which fre- 
quently occurred. Sometimes if the wind began to blow a little, these 
fires would bound over the ground at a furious rate, and would sweep 
everything that stood in their way, houses, stacks of hay and grain, 
and even live stock were often consumed by them. The only safe 
way to save property was to plow a few furrows some distance apart 
around it, and burn the diy grass between. If this could be done 
before the fire reached the property it could most generally be saved. 
In all new countries, however, a vast amount of fencing and other prop- 
erty is destroyed by such fires, and it seems impossible to prevent it. 

Breaking up the Land 

"The manner of breaking up the laud, or ploughing it for the first 
time, was to me both unexpected and interesting. I had seen a great 
deal of ploughing done in Scotland, where it is done in the most 
scientific manner, but to tell a Scotch plowman that in breaking up the 
land for the first time a furrow some four to six inches deep and from 
sixteen to twenty-four inches in width is turned, according to the size 
of the plow, he would be very apt to say that it could not be done ; and 
if told that in turning such furrows brushwood, and young trees, whose 
roots were in some instances four to five inches in thickness, were cut 
by the plow as clean as if it had been done with an ax, and rolled over 
with the furrow, he would be inclined to regard the person who made 


such a statement as insane, and would not hesitate, perhaps, in telling 
him so. Such, however, is nevertheless the case. I have often seen land 
broken up where the brush was so heavy and thick that it was with 
considerable difficulty that the oxen could be got through it, and the 
cutting of such roots was of quite frequent occurrence. Horses could 
not have performed this work where the brush was so thick, and were 
never used in doing it. From four to six yoke, or pair of oxen was 
the team usually used. Horses were used on the prairies for breaking 
up land when there was no timber or brush in the way. 

Pioneer Plow for Heavy Work 

The plow used for such heavy work was of very singular construc- 
tion. The beam being a hewn log of wood, from eight to twelve feet long, 
some six inches in thickness and from five inches to a foot in width, being 
widest where the greatest amount of strength was required. The handles 
were also of wood, resembling other plow handles, but proportionately 
strong with the beam. The landside was iron, which was sometimes cov- 
ered with a thin steel plate and was from half an inch to an inch in thick- 
ness, and from four to five feet long. The shear, or lay, was of steel 
and about a fourth of an inch thick, and from six to nine inches wide, 
and from three to four feet long. The mould board was also of steel, 
of about a fourth to three-eighth inches thick, and from eight to ten 
or twelve inches wide, and always some longer than the shear or land- 
side, and rolled sufficiently to turn the furrow. Scotchmen in coming 
to this country frec(uently brought plows with them, but at that time 
we had a breed of swine or hog steer that far surpassed their most 
recently invented plows for breaking up the land among the brush. 
They soon found this out, and the plow which they had brought with 
them at so much cost, and which they regarded as a perfect beauty, 
and a model of ingenuity and art combined, was thrown aside as utterly 
worthless and i-egarded only as a relic of the past. At this time it was 
not at all uncommon to see a few deer scampering along near where the 
plow was running and wily prairie wolves and sly fox would also at 
times make their appearance. 

"The farmer met with but very poor encouragement, however, in 
those days, as it was almost impossible to dispose of any farm produce 
except at lake ports, and even there prices were very low. In the 
settlement of a new country, many a difficulty has to be overcome, and 
obstacles surmounted, and it requires a brave heart and considerable 
determination at times to successfully battle with the troubles and trials 
that come in the way. A pair of oxen and a plow or two must be had 


before anything can be done on a new place, and as grain is not gen- 
erally verj' plenty and the fodder being made from the course wild 
grasses that grow on the marshes and prairies, which undoubtedly fill 
them up, but does not impart much strength to them so that when warm 
weather approaches and the crops have to be put in they are not gener- 
ally in very good condition to perform the labor required of them. And 
I have often seen it necessary, before a very small spring's work was 
done, to assist the poor brutes at times to get up. The grain, however, 
as a rule had to be got in whether the oxen lived through it or not. 
But few of them seemed to die, and when the spring's work was over 
and the cattle allowed to riui at large, it was almost amazing to see 
how soon they would become fat and sleek, and in their appearance so 
much changed that a person could scarcely believe them to be the same 
animals that they had seen a couple of months before. ' ' 

First L.iND Entered in the County 

During the summer of 1851 Mr. Jamieson boarded with an old 
widow named I\Irs. Ensminger, who kept a hotel near what was 
known as the "Old Rowan Stand." This hotel subsequently becomes 
an important feature in the career of Mr. Jamieson. "About the 
time, or soon after, I purchased my land in 1849, an elderly gentleman 
by the name of Samuel B. Thomas purchased the forty acres adjoining 
me on the south (October 9, 1849), and in the fall of the same year came 
there to live. The land bought by Mr. Thomas at this time was the 
same land Mr. Wallace Rowan entered at the Green Bay Land Office on 
the sixth day of June, in the .year 1836, and is described as the northeast 
quarter of the southeast quarter of section thirty-four, township eleven 
north, of range nine east, in what is known as the town of Dekorra, 
and was the first land entered in Columbia County. It was at that time, 
however. Brown County, in Michigan territory, afterwards Brown 
County, Wisconsin territory, subsequently Portage County, Wisconsin 
territory, then Columbia County, Wisconsin territory, finally Columbia 
County, state of Wisconsin. The house which ilr. Thomas occupied 
when he came there to live was a double log house that had been built by 
Mr. Rowan, and which was used by him as a trading point with the 
Indians, and as a hotel for the accommodation of travelers. Mr. Thomas 
occupied this house nearly a year while engaged in the construction of a 
more commodious frame building, which he moved into in 1850. 

Gets Curious about Miss Thomas 

During the first year I saw but little of Mr. Thomas. I was told by 
the neighbors, however, that he had a marriageable daughter, and those 


who knew her seemed to speak well of her. At first I gave but little 
heed to what was told me in regard to her, but my desire to see her 
gained strengtli as the neighbors would talk to me about her, and tell me 
how she stood in their estimation. I was seldom there, however, my busi- 
ness calling me away a good share of the time. And Lucy, for this was 
her name, was also absent most of the time, being engaged in teaching 
school, some two or three miles distant, and although we had seen and 
heard of each other quite considerable perhaps, no formal acquaintance 
occurred until the winter of 1850-51. After that time, however, we 
were often together, and enjoyed each other's company, and as I was 
then engaged in opening up my farm, I was seldom away from home, 
and although she was teaching the same school she had taught the 
summer before, the distance between us was not so great but that we 
often saw each other, and as I was always on good terms with the old 
landlady, Mrs. Ensminger, with whom I boarded, and had the liberty 
at any time of using her old pet mare and buggy, I occasionally carried 
Lucy to her school on Monday morning. As time wore on the attach- 
ment between us seemed to strengthen, and the state of each other's 
feeling began to be pretty well understood, although no word had been 
uttered by either, by which any inference could be made as to just 
how we stood in each other's esteem. Interest and affection, however, 
continued to twine a cord' betweea us that was gradually strengthen- 
ing and drawing us nearer to each other, until at last a declaration of 
loye was made, coupled by an offer of marriage which was accepted. 
In due time the day which was to unite us was agreed upon, and was 
the ninth day of November in the year of our Lord, 1851. Upon that 
Sabbath morning, I hitched the old lady's mare onto the buggy, and 
with a young man of my acquaintance, started for the residence of 
Mr. William Curtis, some five miles distant, who was then a justice 
of the peace in the town of Lowville. My object in going there at that 
time was to ascertain if he was at home, and to inform him of my inten- 
tions to be at his house the same evening with a young lady to be united 
in the holy bonds of wedlock. 

Married by Squire Curtis 

Mr. Curtis gave me to understand that he would be on hand, and 
when I made my appearance at his residence in the evening, accom- 
panied by her to whom I was about to be united, the squire was ready 
to receive us. There were a few young people there, who I presume 
had been given to understand in some way what was about to happen. 
After an hour or so spent in a sort of neighborly visit and friendly 


chat, I suggested to the Squire the object of our coming there, and 
of which he was aware, to which he quietly responded. Yes, he knew 
what we were there for, and directing us to stand up and join hands, 
proceeded in a somewhat solemn manner to perform the marriage cere- 
mony, which was not very lengthy, although perhaps just as effective 
as though it had taken an hour to pronounce it. In a short time we left 
the Squire's and returned home, and continued on in the same even 
tenor of our ways, as though nothing of a very serious nature had 

IMarriages in those days were quite a different thing to what they 
have become since then. Men did not marry silver spoons, tea sets and 
napkin rings. At that time they, as a rule, married women, and worked 
for such things afterwards, if they got them at all. Nor did the an- 
noimcement of their marriage fill a column or two of the local county 
paper. Times were different then. Money was less plenty, and interest 
in each other's welfare with but little money to spend in visiting and 
jaunting around, kept people closer together. 

The Thomas F.\mily 

"Lucy Thomas, to whom I was married on November 9, 1851, was 
born at the village of Cambridge, in Crawford County, Pennsylvania, 
her parents havina: removed there from Hinsdale, Massachusetts, a 
few years before her birth. Samuel B. Thomas, her father, was born 
in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, on the tenth of June. 1797. Her 
grandfather, whose name was also Samuel B. Thomas was born in Wor- 
cester county, Massachusetts. Her great-grandfather on her father's 
side was from England ; his wife, however, whose maiden name was 
Bartlett, and who was my wife's great-grandmother, was born in Berk- 
shire county, Massachusetts. My wife's mother, whose maiden name 
was Samantha Jackson, was also born in Berkshire County, Massachu- 
setts. Her grandfather, on her mother's side was by name Joshua Jack- 
son. He was a Baptist minister. Her grandmother's maiden name was 
Abigail Whiting. She was bom in Hartford, Connecticut, and was 
twice married. The name of her first husband was Dixon and he was 
a colonel in the Revolutionary army. After his death she married 
Mr. Jackson, and by her second marriage had only one child, my wife's 

"For a short time after our marriage we lived with the old people, 
my wife's parents. We only stayed there, however, until we could get 
things ready to go to housekeeping. The stove had to be got, and that 
had to come from Milwaukee. My brother-in-law, John Thomas, was 


going there with a load of wheat, and was to bring the stove back with 
him. It was in the month of December, on Christmas day, however, 
before we got fairly ready to start out for ourselves, and as the old 
people had moved into their new house some time before, the old log house 
that had sheltered so many before us, and which has before been referred 
to as having been built by Mr. Rowan, was ready to receive us. Although, 
at the time of our taking possession the south half of it was occupied 
by a iMr. Hubbard, a blacksmith, who moved out of it in the spring. 

Union School and Church 

It was then used for the purpose of keeping school, and teaching 
the young ideas how to shoot. The teacher who presided over these 
somewhat unruly gatherings, was a Miss Roxelana Ackerman, a small, 
trim, slim, little creature . . . Roxa, as we called her, taught a 
good school however, and gave very general satisfaction. There were 
no churches near us in those days, and the school house was generally 
used for aJl public meetings and the gatherings of every description. 
And as the south half of this old log cabin was being used for school 
purposes at this time, what religious meetings we did have were as a 
matter of course also held there. Some times a Baptist minister by the 
name of Cornell would come and preach to us, and sometimes when he 
was expected he would fail to put in an appearance. On such occa- 
sions when the elder failed to meet with us, my father-in-law, Mr. 
Thomas, would read a sermon, or a chapter or two from the Bible, 
some one present perhaps would offer up a prayer, and some hymns 
were generally sung, after which the few who had gathered there for 
holy purposes would disperse and return to their homes. 

"At that time, even although the country was quite new, I could 
not help but think of the changes a few short years had made in the 
use this old log building had been put to. But a short time before 
these meetings were being held there, the old people who had built 
the house and whose home it was might have been seen quietly sitting 
and smoking their clay pipes by the door on a Sunday afternoon while 
the indolent redman would occasionally pass out and in to procure a 
little fire-water, beads, or calico, and whose squaw and papooses might 
be seen lying in groups around the trees and bushes that surrounded 
the old house, talking and tittering as guileless and happy perhaps, 
as those who had .iust left it. And there is no doubt but that the white 
children of Mr. and Mrs. Rowan were often joined in their sports and 
plays by the children of their dusky brothers. 


Rowan Not First Settler 

"In the history of Columbia County, published in the year 1880 by 
the Western Historical Company, on page 371, a statement is made 
for which the Hon. M. !M. Strong is responsible that Wallace Rowan was 
the first settler in the county of Columbia. I beor leave to differ with 
Mr. Strong, however, in this matter, as there is no doubt but that a 
man by the name of Hastings lived in the county sometime prior to the 
breaking out of the Black Hawk war. And there is no doubt but that he 
came there to live and engage in the same business as that afterwards 
followed by 'Mr. Rowan, viz.. trading and trafficking with the Indians. 
He had selected for this purpose nearly the same piece of ground that 
Mv. Rowan afterwards located upon. He erected a house some two 
hundred yards north of the spot Rowan subsequently built on. He 
moved his familv there and had children born in the house he built, 
and where he must have lived for some time. And but for the war 
which broke out during his stay there, known as the Black Hawk war, 
there is no knowing how long he might have remained. The stream 
on whose banks he had built was known by his name for a long 
time after he left it. As late as December 28, 1846, a deed made by 
James Ensminger and wife to Hubbard E. Johnson was recorded 
wherein a reservation is made of that part of the forty acres therein 
deeded, lying north of the Hastings creek. Just how long he had lived 
there before the breaking out of the Black Hawk war, I am unable to 
state, but that he came there to live, and that he had a permanent home 
there as much so as any of the earliest settlers usually have in new 
countries, there is no doubt. Neither do I know just what kind of a 
man he was. I have been given to understand, however, by those who 
did know him that he was apt to take advantage of the Indians at times, 
as many other traders used to do in those early days. And it is said by 
Eome that it was as much in consequence of some unjust treatment 
which they received at his hands that he was compelled to leave his 
home as the condition of affairs which then existed between the Indians 
and the whites. Perhaps both circumstances had something to do with 
his abrupt departure. Any unjust treatment that they might have 
received at his hands, however, could have been arranged, as had 
undoubtedly been done before, had it not been for the recent rising and 
warlike preparations that had for some time been going on amongst 
the followers of the noted chief and warrior, Black Hawk. No doubt 
but that his log building was ciuite a substantial structure and large 
enough to accommodate the wants of quite a numerous family. As hos- 
tilities were about to commence in the vicinity of Fort Winnebago, 


the family of ilr. Hastings was uotified by a friendly squaw that their 
long-er stay there was eonpled with danger and that they had better 
quietly depart. And some time during the night after this friendly 
warning had been given, they quietly stole away, and before sunrise of 
the following morning had reached the fort before alluded to and 
secured protection. The events which followed proved that the warning 
had been gi\'^n none too soon. For the same night upon which they left 
their home, it was laid in ashes, and I myself have seen some of the 
coal and pieces of charred logs, that lay there partially covered up, 
many years after the burning. I have frequently seen one of the mem- 
bers of this family, that was born in this house. Some of them also 
for many years lived at Wyota in this state, and I am almost certain 
that some members of the family still live there. From what infor- 
mation I have been able to secure, I am quite confident that Mr. Hastings 
must have reached this place and built there as early as the year 1830, if 
not before. Those early settlers could not have been attracted to this spot 
by the superior quality of the soil, for within a few hundred rods from 
where they built, the land is far superior in quality, and much better 
calculated for farming purposes. Their buildings, however, were 
located, one on the north bank, that of Hastings, and that of Rowan's 
on the south bank of as fine a spring brook, with as pure, clear water 
as I ever saw, and the brook near where the building stood was crossed 
by the old ililitary road leading from Fort Crawford on the Mississippi 
to Fort Howard on Green Bay, so that there is no doubt but that these 
selections were made principally with a view to trading with the Indians. 

Purchases a Hotel 

"We lived in this old log cabin during the winter of 1851 and 1852, 
and until the month of August of the latter year. During this time 
I succeeded in extending my improvements and increasing my pros- 
pects of living in the future. I also purchased the hotel property of 
Mrs. Ensminger, for which I agreed to pay her the sum of one thousand 
dollars, but did not pay her one dollar down on making the purchase. 
I gave her, however, a mortgage for the full amount on the real prop- 
erty I bought from her, and on the land I owned besides. This property 
consisted of five and three-fourth acres of land lying on the north 
side of the creek formerly called the Hastings creek, and was the piece 
before referred to as having been reserved by Mr. and Mrs. Ensminger 
in deeding the balance of the forty acres to Mr. H. E. Johnson, and 
was a part of the same forty acres that was entered by Wallis Rowan on 
the sixth day of June, 1836. There was also the house, barn and other 


improvements besides nearly all of the furniture, some little stock, hay, 
etc. The buildings were supposed to be on this land, but before making 
the purchase, I had discovered that they stood upon the land I already 
owned, having been placed there by mistake in not knowing just where 
the lines ran when they were built. There was no advantage taken 
of Mrs. Ensminger, however, on this account, for she was in time paid 
every dollar with full interest, that was agreed upon. 

"A thousand dollars was quite a large debt for a man of my means 
to contract in those days, and many of my intimate friends, regarded 
the venture as very unsafe on my part. In fact, quite a number 
expressed the opinion that it would be likely to ruin me; that I would 
not only lose the hotel property, but the land also that I owned before 
buying it. I had boarded there, however, some eight months, and saw 
while there what business had been done and felt satisfied that in mak- 
ing the venture, I ran no risk and was likely to profit bj- it in the end. 
Besides this I had to have some buildings on my farm, and those stood 
just where I wanted them. And as a country iotel had been ray prin- 
cipal home for upwards of two years while I was engaged in teaming, 
I had formed a tolerable fair idea as to how they should be run, and 
what the wants of the traveling public were, and my wife and myself 
were both young and healthy, and able and willing to work, which as a 
rule insures success. 

"In the year 1851 some rather important events occurred, with 
which I was either immediately or in some way afterwards connected. 
During that year I split my first rail to make the first fence on the first 
land I had ever been possessed of. I plowed the first furrow and 
planted the first seed on my own land. I wooed and won the girl I loved, 
and to whom I was married, as before mentioned, and in the same year 
our first housekeeping was begun. 

First Village Plat of Poynette 

"The first village plat of Poynette was made this year by Samuel 
B. Pinney, who had bought the land from my father-in-law, Samuel 
Thomas a short time before, and who had also kept store in the old 
log house sometime prior to making the purchase. The land purchased 
by him and platted was a part of the northeast quarter of the south- 
east quarter of section thirty-four township eleven north, range nine 
east. Shortly after platting, however, he transferred it to my brother- 
in-law, John Thomas, who at that time was active as postmaster in the 
place. We had no postal route established to here then, and our office 
was only a side office and our mail being left at the Lowville postoffice 


some five miles distant, was gone after twice a week. This duty was 
performed by some one of Mr. Thomas' family for several years, and 
was a great convenience to those living near the place at that time. 
We succeeded however, in getting a postal route established about this 
time to run this way from Madison to Portage, and old Mr. Thomas 
McCleery, who for several years ran the stage through here, supplied 
our office three times each way weekly, which was a great improvement 
and much appreciated by the few who then lived around here. 

"A village had been before laid out on lands adjoining the land at 
this time platted by Mr. Pinney, by Mr. J. D. Doty, who entered one 
hundred and twenty acres of land on the southeast quarter of section 
thirty-four, township eleven north, range nine east, on the eighth day of 
February, 1837. And the plat of the village laid by him was recorded 
on the fifteenth day of March, in the same year. The name he gave 
to the village was Pauquette. This plat was subsequently vacated. A 
short time before Pinney 's plat was made, application had been made 
by petition to the postoffice department through Mr. Doty, who was 
then in Congress to have a postal route established from the city of 
Madison to the city of Portage, running through this place, and also 
to have our postoffice established as a regular postoffice on this route. 
The petitioners stated in their petition that they desired the name given 
to the office to be Pauquette, the same as that given by him to the village 
he had laid out. By some clerical error, however, the name given the 
office was Poynette and no effort was ever made to change it. And 
when Pinney had his plat made, the name given to the village was the 
same as that given to the postoffice. 

"At this time there was around here only the old Rowan log house, 
the frame house iust built by Mr. Thomas and another also just built^ 
by Mr. H. E. Johnson, besides the hotel and outbuildings connected with 
it, and it was several years after this before any others were built. 

School District of 1852 

"In 1852, a school district was formed from territory in the towns 
of Arlington and De Korra, and included the territory upon which 
Poynette was platted. The district was called Joint School District 
No. 4 of Arlington and De Korra, and in this district in the same year, 
a new school house was built some eighty rods south of where the vil- 
lage now stands. It was a frame structure eighteen feet wide and 
twenty-eight feet long, and one story Jiigh. Although small it was 
regarded as quite a house in those days, and for many years it served 
the purpose that country school houses were generally calculated to 


serve, ilaoy an able sermon was preached within its walls. And 
political discussions were of no unfrequent occurrence there. Debat- 
ing clubs held their meetings here also, and it was used for town 
meetings and .election purposes, and for nearly all meetings of a jjublic 
character. Neither was it at all uncoiiimon for the weary traveler to 
treat himself to a night's shelter under its roof. In fact, the country 
school house in the early settlement of a new country is one of the 
most useful institutions imaginable. 

"Up to this time I had given no heed to politics, and although I 
had often heard some very hot discussions in the bar-rooms and other 
public places, I had paid but little attention to the arguments advanced, 
and cared but little which party succeeded in the fight for power. At the 
approaching election, however, there was to be a president elected, and 
I was urged by men of lioth parties to declare my intentions of becom- 
ing a citizen, that 1 might be ([ualified to vote, and henceforth share 
the blessings guaranteed by the governmeut to all American citizens. 
As I had no other intention than to remain in the United States, I 
concluded that it might be well enough to take up with their advice. 
And on the twenty-tifth day of August, 1852, I presented myself at the 
clerk of the courts' office, in Fort Winnebago for the purpose before 
stated." (Here follows a copy of his declaration of intention to become 
a citizen of the United States, the first step toward naturalization.) 

Ax Ijii'Outant Ye.vr 

"I also determined to pay some little attention to politics in the 
future, so that I might, as I supposed, he enabled to vote and act 
understandingly. And as the approaching presidential election called 
out some very able and efficient speakers, I had a fair oppoi'tunity of 
deciding upon the candidates then in the field. Columbia County also 
had some leading lights in those days who thoroughly understood 
the entire fabric or system of the American government and were 
able to tell just what would save and what would ruin the country. 
As I had heard both sides of the political question, thoroughlj^ discussed 
aud had become favorably impressed with the sayings of some of our 
leaders in Columbia County, I concluded to cast my first or maiden 
vote at the coming election for Franklin Pierce, for President of the 
United States, who proved to be the successful candidate. 

"On the 27th day of August of this year, I took possession of the 
hotel property before alluded 1,0 and before six months had passed, we 
became satisfied that b.y continuing in the same course we would not 
onlv soon be able to pav off our indel)tedness I)ut would probably be 


able to either extend our possessions, or lay up something for a rainy- 
day. On the first day of September of this year (1852), and soon after 
taking possession of the hotel, our first child was born, and being a boy 
I of course felt as a father is apt to feel over his first born, and as I had 
determined to cast m.y first vote for Franklin Pierce for President, I also 
concluded that my child bear his name. I had too much reverence and 
respect for my father's memory, however, not to recognize the almost 
universal practice or custom in Scotland of naming the oldest child, if a 
boy, for his grandfather on his father's side, and if a girl, for her grand- 
mother on her mother 's side ; and consequently gave him my father 's 
name also. He was therefore named Hugh Pierce. This year, as will 
be seen, was also a very important one in my history, and besides the 
events named I might also say that the purchase of the hotel property 
was the means of giving me my first start in the accumulation of what 
little property I have since become possessed." 

The narrative of Hugh Jamieson in the manuscript is divided into 
two pai'ts. The first comprises one hundred and eighty-three pages, his 
life through his boyhood in Scotland and through the early events 
just described in Wisconsin. Its writing had occupied his leisure inter- 
vals throughout one entire winter, and the second volume, as it might 
be called, was proliably written in the next winter. The title of part 
two is "Days of mv Manhood," and begins with the autumn of 1852, 
when Hugh Jamieson was the head of a family and the proprietor of 
the inn in what is now the village of Poynette. 

^Y^Y THE Hotel Paid Well 

"XTp to this time but little produce had been raised north of the 
city of Portage, and the bulk of provisions and merchandise used by 
people living in the pineries was carried by wagon from the southern 
part of Wisconsin and northern part of Illinois, a great deal of which 
came from Galena in the last named state. And many of the heaviest 
firms in Grand Rapids, Stevens Point, Wausau, and other prominent 
lumbering points in the pineries of Wisconsin, had their sup'plies brought 
from the places before named, in those days. The cost of transportation 
must have been considerable, as the distance the goods were carried would 
run from one hundred and fifty to two hundred and fifty miles, and 
the roads at that time were not very good. In the winter season 
immense quantities of corn, grain, meal, etc., was carried into the 
pineries by farmers, who generally loaded back with lumber, shingles, 
and such goods as they required at home, and which they could secure 
in exchange for the produce they had carried into the woods. Quite a 


number of live stock was driven to the pineries at that time, consisting 
principally of hogs and cattle. In fact, the pinery market, as it was 
generally termed then, was the best market which the farmers of southern 
Wisconsin and northern Illinois had. And although considerable of 
the carrying was also done in the summer season, the bulk of it was 
done during the winter, when sleighing' was good on the roads, hard 
frozen. The lumber then manufactured in the pineries was run down 
the Wisconsin River during the summer season, into the Mississippi, 
and generally sold at points along the j\Iississippi River, or run to St. 
Louis and then sold. The men engaged in the performance of this labor 
in those days, had either to make their way back on foot or by stage, 
except in some instances when a number would club together and hire 
a private conveyance. At this time also there was a considerable immi- 
gration to the north and northwestern part of the state, and from the 
trades and traffic before mentioned, and because of the continuous travel 
back and forth, hotels were much needed and generally well patronized, 
especially at convenient and well appointed stopping places. And al- 
though there was much that might be regarded as rather agreeable con- 
nected with keeping hotels in those days, it also had its drawbacks. The 
country hotelkeeper came in contact with men of all grades and pro- 
fessions, and from nearly every country on the habitable globe. And 
although this afforded him an opportunity of studying human nature, 
it also brought him in contact at times with men of a rather disagi-ee- 
able and somewhat (|uerulous disposition. In most cases also the build- 
ings were too small to accommodate the wants of the traveling public. 
The increase in travel had been so rapid and in some places unex- 
pected, that buildings had not kept pace with the demand and wants 
of the people, and it was no uncommon occurrence to lodge from six 
to ten on the barroom floor and sometimes double that number or more 
among the hay in the loft of the barn. This condition of affaii's was 
well understood, however, and in general quite cheerfully accepted by 
those who were last to arrive. The condition of affairs, however, had 
greatly improved in my days of hotel keeping to what they had been 
some eight or ten years before, at which time it was no uncommon 
occurrence for a member of Congress, perhaps, to occupy one corner 
of the floor, while a governor of the state snored in another with two 
or three raftsmen and other travelers lying between. And although I 
never witnessed .iust such a scene as this in my own house, I have known 
them to be mixed up in as promiscuous a manner in beds in the same 
room, and I doubt not but that some may still be alive who can remem- 
ber enjoying as good a night's rest on the floor of a country bar-room 
in some of the western states as they ever did on the beds furnished them 


at Willard Hotel in Washington, or the Fifth Avenue Hotel in New 
York. Preachers of the Gospel also in those days were quite frequent 
callers at the country hotels. 

"During the year 1853, business was good and my crops also were 
heavy, and by the end of this year, I was not only prepared to make a 
good round payment on the property I had bought," but he also bought 
other land and began thereafter using his credit quite extensively for 
the purchase and trading in lauds in Columbia County. "The winter 
of 1853 and 1854 was a very cold winter, or rather, we had some very 
cold snaps, as they were termed. The cold weather did not check busi- 
ness, however, that winter, as the roads might almost have been said to 
have been continuously lined with teams, hauling supplies to and lum- 
ber from the pineries. During the early part of the year, 1854, for- 
tune seemed to smile upon us, business was good, and money flowed in 
freely. On the first day of April of the same year, our second child 
was born, another boy, which we named Samuel Andrew. We little 
dreamed, however, what was in store for us, for before the end of the 
year we met with the saddest bereavement we had ever been called 
upon to meet, in the death of this same little child which occurred on 
the fourteenth day of December, when he was only eight months and 
fourteen days old." 

Buys More Land 

January 4, 1855, Mr. Jamieson bought from AValter Irving near 
Mukwonego, two hundred acres in section twenty-seven of township 
eleven, range nine, paying fifteen hundred dollars, one thousand dol- 
lars in cash. This land joined the land he had previously bought from 
the executors of the Hoey estate. "I had also been able to make a sec- 
ond payment on my hotel property, and was satisfied that I could easily 
meet all demands as fast as they came due, as I had increased my live 
stock considerably, and already had enough, which if sold, would bring 
an amount sufficient to pay all my indebtedness. I did not relax ray 
efforts, however, to accumulate, but on the contrary, it seemed that I 
was more determined than ever to secure enough, not only to pay off my 
indebtedness, but to improve my land as well. Business was good, the 
railroad had reached Madison, and immense quantities of goods were 
being carried from there to Portage and other points north, and the 
hotels on the road were nearly all doing a large business, I was very 
favorably situated to get a good share of it, being just one day's drive, 
or about twenty-six miles from Madison, and about half that distance 
from Portage. ]Many made it a point to drive from Lladison to my 


place one day and the next day to go to Portage and return again that 
night. The goods and merchandise at this time were carried from Madi- 
son to Portage and the points north, until the railroads reached that 
place, then carried direct from ^lilwaukee, and by a route that did not 
lead by the hotel kept by me. Consequently when the railroad reached 
iladison, this vast amount of business was just so much added to that 
we had heretofore done, and a man keeping hotel under such circum- 
stances at that time on this road, must have been extravagant indeed or 
wanting in some other point if he failed to make money. . . . 'Sly 
business, however, had not only greatly increased, but was also paying 
me well. The only difficulty I had to contend with was in the want of 
room. My buildings were altogether too small, and I was quite fre- 
quently compelled to send ti-avelers on to other stopping places, while 
many took up with fare that was neither agreeable to them or pleasant 
to me, such as sleeping on the floor or in the barn loft, tying their horses 
by a straw stack or in an old log shed, etc. and as this condition of 
affairs seemed likel.y to continue, I began to think of increasing my 
means of accommodation by adding to the buildings I already had, or 
by erecting new ones that would be large enough to accommodate the 
wants of the traveling public. About this time, however, a circum- 
stance occurred that materially interfered with my calculations, and 
for some time put an end to my carrying out the contemplated im- 

Railroad from :\Iadisox to Portage 

In ]\Iareh, 1S55, while working day and night to accommodate 
crowds of travellers, Mr. Jamieson was stricken with an inflammation 
of the eyes, which kept him in a darkened room five or six weeks. 
"Although they did not get well, and prevented me from going on with 
the contemplated improvements, our prospects for a railroad between 
]\Iadison antl Portage had also become somewhat flattering, and if this 
road should be built, I knew I would have to change the location of 
my buildings. During the autumn of this year I determined to make 
some preparation toward building, and selecting a site which I thought 
would be suitable in case the contemplated railroad from iladison to 
Portage was built, proceeded to get some stone hauled onto the ground 
with a \aew to getting a good start the following spring. 

"During the two seasons, I had considerably increased the 
improvements on my farm by breaking up and fencing, so that I had 
upwards of fifty acres under the plow in the fall of 1855, all of which 
was well fenced. Our third child, another boy, was also born on the 


seveuteeiith day of October of this same year, and whom we named 
William Wallace. My crops too were good and brought a good price, 
and aside from my eyes, which were not gaining much, everything was 
going well with us." 

The building of his house progressed slowly, and in the meantime 
the two children were stricken with smallpox, but recovered and the 
condition of his eyes continued to impi-ove a little. Finally he deter- 
mined to go abroad and consult a specialist in Glasgow, setting out with 
liis family in October, 1856. However interesting his descriptions of 
the scenes and events connected with his return to the land he had left 
some nine years before, they must be omitted from this chapter. He 
arrived in Wisconsin from Scotland in ]May, 18.57, and the journal will 
again be quoted for pertinent material concerning the advancement 
of Poynette and the county. 

A Boom for Poynette 

On his return to Wisconsin, "A large force was at work on the rail- 
road that was to run through our place from Madison to Portage. Mr. 
D. C. Jackson, the contractor, had built a store and opened up with a 
tine stock of goods. Mr. Cave, who some year or two before had moved 
into the place, had- built one the summer before which was filled and 
run by a ilr. Dunning, who had for a short time been engaged in the 
business some two or three miles south on the prairie. Mr. A. P. Smith 
wanted to purchase my hotel property upon which to erect a grist mill, 
and in fact everything seemed booming, and amidst all this boom and 
prosperity I would often hear men talk of the corruption of the mem- 
bers of the legislature. 

Completes New and Larger Hotel 

"The railroad, however, was just what we needed, and as it appeared 
that we were in a fair way to get it, I did not propose to grumble at 
the means that had been used by the railroad company to secure the 
land granted for the purpose of aiding in its construction. As busi- 
ness of all description was good, and times lively, my friends advised 
me to complete my new hotel building as soon as possible. And as this 
could be done much quicker by erecting a frame building than to wait' 
and build with stone, I finally concluded to pvit a two-story substantial 
frame structure on to the stone basement I had built the preceding 
summer. ... I moved into it on the tenth day of Februaiy, 1858. 
Some time previous to this I had sold my old hotel property to Mr. 
Augustus P. Smith for one thousand dollars, being the same amount I 


had paid for it, and od my leaving it he took possession and immediate!}- 
commenced the construction of what has since been known as the 'Poyn- 
ette Lower Mill.' This name was given it in consequence of another 
mill being erected some two years after by a Mr. Fish from Canada, 
a little farther up the stream, which has since its erection been known 
as the Poynette Upper Mill. 

Railroad Work Ceases 

"The year 1857, notwithstanding the auspicious opening of business 
in the spring, did not prove as favorable a year for business as the 
three yeare preceding it. The winter had been rather a severe one, 
and the spring was cold and backward. "When we reached home, about 
the tenth of May, the fields were still red and the growing crops barely 
through the ground, nor was the harvest as abundant as some we had 
previously been blessed with. Prices too for all kinds of grain were 
lower than the.y had been and it was quite evident that the reaction in 
the times had set in. We were as little affected by this reaction, how- 
ever, as any locality, perhaps, in the state. The work was progressing 
on the railroads, and considerable money was being paid out for help 
which circulated quite freely among the people in our midst. Towards 
winter, however, the work on the railroads ceased, and was never again 
resumed by the ]Milwaukee and LaCrosse Company, although nearly 
three-fourths of the entire line was graded by this company that season. 
In fact, it is doubtful if they ever reallj' intended to complete the road. 
Their object was to get the land grant, and as that could only be done 
by building twenty continuous miles of the road, starting at Madison, 
they perhaps thought that by making a show of complying with the 
law, the governor would yield to their wishes and grant the requisite 
certificates, enabling them to become possessed of the land. The cer- 
tificates were wisel.v withheld, however, and although the road had not 
been built the laud granted for that purpose was still at the disposal 
of the state. 

Yet Local Improvements Progress 

"The spring of 1858 opened up with less boom and bustle, but the 
improvements in our village which I have before mentioned, kept steadily 
on. The work on the grist mill was being pushed with all the charac- 
teristic energy and vim of the proprietor (]\Ir. Smith), and the store 
of D. C. Jackson was turning over a considerable quantity of goods 
under the superintendence of Mr. Rice, who had charge of Mr. Jack- 


son's interest in the place at that time. I had moved into my new 
hotel building, and was doing a fair business. On the twenty-eight 
day of February of this year (1858), our fourth child, also a boy, whom 
we named Addison Jackson, was born. The reaction which had set in 
in the previous year still continued and business became more and more 
depressed, until the complaint- of hard times became quite general. 
Mr. Smith had crowded his mill to completion and just got it fairly 
started when the dam went out. This was a severe blow to Mr. Smith 
as he had exhausted all his means in erecting his mill, and it was with 
difficulty he could procure the necessary labor to rebuild the dam. He 
was not a man to get discouraged over small matters, however, and he 
went to work with a will and determination to repair the damage, and 
finally succeeded. 

"The railroad from Milwaukee to LaCrosse had reached Portage 
the previous year, and hotel business on the roads from Madison to 
Portage was seriously injured on that account. All the goods and mer- 
chandise of every description that had before been carried over these 
roads from Madison by teams was now carried to Portage and even 
beyond that point to Kilbourn City, and other northern points, which 
the railroad had reached. There was still, however, considerable travel, 
and hotels located at convenient points continued to do a fair business, 
although times were considerably depressed and very far from being 
what the.y had been in the Crimean war times, and our prospects which 
but a year before had been so bright and flourishing were much dark- 
ened. The impetus our village had received from the commencement 
of work on the railroad had also been cheeked, and a general prostra- 
tion seemed to prevail in all departments and branches of business. We 
kept plodding along, however, and although we did not make money 
as fast as we had done when times were good, we were -still making a 
little and put what we did make to as good a use as we possibly could. 

Admitted to Citizenship 

"In the summer of 1859, I built a large and convenient barn, with 
a good stone basement, which I fitted up as a stable for horses, using 
the upper part for hay and grain. On the fourth day of October of 
this year, I made application to the Circuit Court of Columbia County 
to be admitted a citizen of the United States. (Here follows a copy of 
the document completing his naturalization.) It will be seen by the 
above dates that although I was admitted as a citizen of the United 
States in 1859, and my admission was duly recorded in the clerk of the 
court's office at that time, the above document did not issue from said 


clerk's office until the year 1869, for the simple reason that I had uot 
called for it. 

Plats Jajiiesox's Addition 

■"I also platted a piece of land on the southeast quarter of the north- 
east quarter of section thirty-four, township eleven, range nine, which 
was named Jamieson's Addition to the village of Poynette ; and com- 
menced selling lots for building purposes on the same. The first lot I 
sold was to Mr. W. Lefferts, who erected on it a small dwelling house 
where he lived for several years. It was afterwards owned and occu- 
pied by ^Ir. A. I'adley, subsequently by 'Sir. W. Turner and latterly 
by Dr. L. A. Squire. The price I received for the lot was twenty-five 
dollars. The next lot I sold was to James Oleson, who also built on it, 
and after various changes and passing through a number of hands, is 
now owned by Cliarles Delaney and kept as a hotel which is called the 
American House. This lot I sold for thirty dollars. The next lot I dis- 
posed of by making a present of it to Ira S. Allen, on condition that 
he would build and occupy said building as a dry goods and grocery 
store, which he did for some time. In fact, I disposed of all my lots on 
Main Street, between my hotel property and the Mill Pond, for sums 
ranging from twenty to thirty-tive dollars, except one that I kept for 
some time, thinking perhaps that some person might want it for a place 
for the transaction of some kind of business, and which I sold some 
time after the sales before mentioned to Robert Robertson for one hun- 
dred dollars, and is the lot that is now occupied by Mr. Edmister as a, 
hardware store. The lots sold to Lefferts, Oleson and Allen were all 
built on before, or by the end of the year 1860, and all the other lots 
on the west side of the same street, except that afterwards sold to i\Ir. 
Robertson, were Iniilt on within a year or two after that date. 

Rivalry of North axd Soi'tii Sides 

"Quite a few buildings had also been erected on the south side of 
the stream during the years 1S58 and 1859. iMr. John Campbell, who 
came from Scotland with me, had built a blacksmith shop and was 
doing a good business. He, like most others of that time, thought the 
south side of the stream would keep ahead in building, and it certainly 
looked so just then. I offered ilr. Campbell the lot for nothing, which 
I afterward sold to ]\Ir. Lefferts, and I also told him if he would build 
on it, he might go into my woods and take what timber he wanted 
toward the construction of any building he might see fit to erect. But 


Mr. Campbell was perfectly satisfied in his own mind that the business 
part of the village at least would be on the south side, and there he 
determined to build. The south side of the stream did take the lead, 
and for a number of years kept it, but giving away lots, selling others 
cheap, and holding- out other inducements, the north side kept moving 
slowly along, and although it did not for a number of years keep pace 
with the south side, quite a few buildings had been built there since 
the year 1856, the time when building might be said to have com- 
menced, up to 1860, during which year the mill before mentioned as 
the Poynette Upper Mill was built, and several dwelling houses were 
also erected, principally, however, on the south side. Messrs. Brayton 
and Tomlinson, a short time before had purchased the northwest quar- 
ter of section thirty-five, township eleven, range nine, and had a con- 
siderable part of it platted, although the plat was not recorded for some 
years after the platting was done. Brayton & Tomlinson 's addition be- 
ing on the north side of the stream, and they also being anxious to sell 
lots and get people in to build, besides being reasonably liberal in their 
prices, we began to make quite a showing, although still behind the 
south side in point of inimbers. On the eleventh day of December of 
this year, also our fifth child and first daughter was born. We named 
her Samantha Janet, for both of her grandmothers, Samantha, being 
the name of her grandmother on her mother's side, and Janet on the 
side of her father. 

War Times in the County 

"This year, 1860, is also memorable throughout the entire United 
States as that in which one of the most exciting presidential campaigns 
was conducted that ever occurred in its history. The people of Poy- 
nette were seemingly as deeply interested in the result as those in large 
cities, and took as lively an interest in getting up meetings and procur- 
ing speakers as though their political existence almost depended upon 
having their side properly presented. And when a meeting was held 
by one party, the other party had to get up one to match, or if possible 
to beat it. When the election was over and the result determined, the 
excitement seemed to die down for a time. 

"It was only for a short time, however. For in the spring of 1861, 
when Fort Sumter was fired upon, the most terrible excitement pre- 
vailed that I had ever witnessed. It is impossible to describe the con- 
dition of public feeling on that occasion. For some considerable time 
it was positively unsafe for a man to suggest an idea, or offer an opinion, 
if it differed in any way, or suggested a different course from that 


being pursued by the authorities at "Washington. Blind submissioa 
seemed to be the rule, and this was almost impossible by those who 
had foreseen the probable result of a change in the administration as 
it most certainly was expected by the great majority of the people of 
the Northern states, that the change meant a direct blow at the institu- 
tion of slavery, which at that time existed in the South. And although 
slavery had but few advocates in the Northern states, there was quite 
a difference of opinion as to the proper means to be used in getting rid 
of it. Quite a large and respectable party did not think it best to 
extend in blood and treasure the amount that would be necessary to 
abolish the institution by force, and would have preferred a different 
method, and the war of opinions and words was waged as bittei'ly and 
fiercely- by those who remained at home as that waged by those at the 
front, actually engaged in lawful combat. It was a fearful time, and 
jealousies, animosities, and feelings of distrust and hatred grew out of 
this condition of affairs, that will probably take centuries to erase. And 
during the war, and ever since, life and property has been much more 
unsafe than it was before, and our social conditions suffered a shock, 
which it is doubtful if at the end of the present century will be entirely 

"In the midst of all this darkness and gloom, however, we occa- 
sionally met with spots of sunshine and humor. These humorous and 
amusing incidents occurred at a time when scenes and incidents of a 
very different and painful character were of almost daily occurrence. 
Around the postofifice in our little village the coming of the mails was 
watched with much interest by all classes of the community, and much 
eagerness and interest in the distribution of the mails was manifested 
by those who had friends and relatives in the army. It is impossible 
to describe the anxiety, and hopeful j'et dreaded expression of the 
countenance of those who happened to receive a letter, upon opening it, 
and the scenes at times witnessed here, and not only here, but through- 
out the entire length and breadth of the United States, were painful in 
the extreme, and in many instances might almost be said to be heart- 

Securing Volunteers for the Union 

"At the spring election of this year (1861), I was chosen chairman 
of the board of supervisors of the town in which I lived, viz., De Korra. 
This was the first time I had been called upon to serve the people in 
what might be termed a political capacity, and as this office was the 
highest gift that could be conferred by the inhabitants of a town upon 


one of their number, and as the chairman of the board of supervisors 
on each town in the county, at that time, as now, constituted the county 
board of supervisors, I felt highly honored, and determined to merit 
their esteem, if it were in my power to do so. There was many a clis- 
agreeable duty to perform, however, in connection with this office at that 
time, and among the most disagreeable of my duties, was securing volun- 
teers to fill the quota of the town. During the continuance of the war, 
I had this duty to perform some three different times, and although in 
each instance I was successful, the disappointments, promises made by 
men and no sooner made than broken, and the low, mean actions of com- 
mission men, who would promise you men when they had not a man to 
furnish, and when they had, would keep you hanging around in suspense 
to see if they could find some town that would offer a little more than they 
had agreed to furnish them to you for ; and the continuous feeling of — 
now you have them, and now you don't — made it one of the most disagree- 
able and perplexing duties I was ever called upon to perform. In addi- 
tion to the men furnished in this manner by the towii, which was not far 
from tifty, some two or three different drafts were made and several 
of our citizens were drafted. Very few of the drafted men, however, 
went into the amy. Most of them furnished substitutes, which were 
generally obtained for from two hundred to four hundred dollars. 

Railroad Pro.jects 1861-62 

"For some considerable time prior to the meeting of the legislature 
of 1861, it had become well understood that the Milwaukee & LaCrosse 
Railway Company had abandoned the intention (if they ever indeed 
had an}') of building the road from ]\Iadison to Portage. And the leg- 
islature of that year annuled and repealed so much of the land grant 
act of 1856 as related to the building of the road from Madison and 
from Columbus to Portage, and the rights and privileges that were 
conferred on the LaCrosse Company were given to the Sugar River Val- 
ley Railroad Company. And that portion of the land grant applicable 
to the lines mentioned was also conferred upon the last named com- 
pany. Under this legislation quite a considerable work was done, and 
right of way secured between Madison and Portage, but jealousies and 
a supposed difference of interest sprang up between those living on that 
portion of the Sugar Valley Railroad, lying between Madison and the 
state line south, and those living in Madison, and north of said city. 
And the work was again suspended, and our hopes for the time being 
consequently blasted. During the year 1862 some considerable survey 


and other work was done, but not much toward eonipleting the grading 
of the road. 

Labor and Crops in War Tijies 

"The fearful exeitenient caused by the war, and the growing 
demand for all kinds of farm produce furnished an abundance of 
labor for both the brain and muscle of the people of the United States. 
Labor of all kinds was in good demand, and commanded high wages. 
Crops in the western states were also good and times generally might 
be regarded as lively. Up to this time there had been but little farm 
machinery introduced in this section of the country, and with the excep- 
tion of a few headers and a very few reapers, that were used on the 
prairies, the harvest was mostly done with the cradle and rake, in the 
hands of men hired principally for that purpose. A great many of 
these men came from the timber regions and new parts of the country 
where little or no harvesting had to be done. It would seem as though 
this method of harvesting the crops must necessarily be both tedious 
and expensive,, compared with the manner in which harvesting is done 
nowadays. But while it may have been more tedious, I am inclined 
to think that the expense was no greater than now. By reference to 
my books, I see that in 1862. I paid for cutting, binxling and stacking, 
fifty-three acres of wheat and oats, the sum of seventy dollars, an aver- 
age of about one dollar and thirty-two cents per acre, and in the follow- 
ing year of 1863 I paid for cutting, binding and stacking, one hundred 
and four acres, the sum of one hundred and forty-two dollars, an aver- 
age of a trifle over one dollar and forty-six cents per acre, and as our 
land was comparatively new in those daj's, crops were generally heavier 
than they are now; and I doubt if with all the modern improvements 
grain can be harvested nowadaj^s for any less money than it was then. 
The principal objection to the old system is that men could not now 
be found to do the work in the time it is rec|uired to be done. 

Chairman of the Board Again 

"In the spring of 1862, I was reelected to the office of chairman of 
the board of supervisors of De Korra, and in the autumn of the same 
year, I was nominated for candidate of the State Legislature, by the 
democratic party. The party, however, was so hopelessly in the minor- 
ity at that time in the district in which I lived that an election w/s 
impossible. The vote I received, however, was a very flattering one 
and highly gratifying in point of numtiers as it was considerably 


ill excess of a regular party vote. Mv. A. J. Turner, who at that 
time- was editor of the Wisconsin State Register was my opponent 
and as the people of our district were a very intelligent people, and 
knew and could keep a good thing when they had it, they made up their 
minds to let him go and represent their interests at Madison and keep 
me at home, and I am satisfied they never had any occasion to regret 
their choice, as Mr. Turner made a very able and efficient legislator and 
understood the wants and interests of our district perhaps as well as 
any man that lived in it. 

"During the winter of 1862 and 1863, I was chosen by the stock 
holders of the Sugar River Valley Railroad Company at their annual 
meeting as a member of the board of directors of such company. What 
little was done, however, during the year 1863, except to meet and dis- 
cuss propositions made to and received from other railroad corpora- 
tions. In the spring of 1863 I was again elected chairman of the board 
of supervisors and had that duty again to perform. During this year 
also times were good, money very plenty, and but for the dark spots 
made by the cruel war which was then raging and which was to be seen 
in nearly every community all over the land, the people of these United 
States might have been regarded as prosperous and happy. On the 
seventeenth day of July of this same year, our sixth child and fifth son 
was born. We named him John C, John being the name of his mother's 
oiil.v brother, and also of my only brother. 

Railroad Work Resujied 

"In the spring of 1864, work was again resumed on our railroad, 
and some grading done under the superintendence of Mr. Peck. The 
object in starting the work was that it might possibly have some effect 
in helping to sell the company's bonds which had been prepared, and 
an effort was to be made to place them on the market. The effort to 
negotiate the bonds failed, however, and the work was again stopped. 
With this failure to sell the company's bonds, all hopes of ever getting 
a railroad through our little village seemed to be at an end. During 
this year also a suit had been instituted against the company by Jlr. 
j\Iills for a small amount, which he claimed the company owed him, and 
a judgment was rendered in his favor against the company. Mr. James 
Campbell of Green County, who had been the prime mover in the enter- 
prise, and who had done more to fonvard it than any other man, and 
had been president of the board of directors for a number of years, 
also had a claim against the company, and as he had good reason to 
believe that efforts had been made and would be continued to be made 
hj parties in Madison who were unfriendly to the road to place it beyond 


his control and prevent its completion, he also commenced an action 
in the courts, and took judgment against the company. 

Sugar Valley Railroad Sold 

"Some time after this the road was advertised and sold, ]Mr. Mills 
selling that portion of it lying between the north lines of Dane County, 
and the city of Madison, and Mr. Campbell selling that portion of it 
lying between Portage city in Columbia County, and the south line 
of said county. Mr. Campbell also bought in that part of it sold by 
Mills, and by this means secured control and became the owner of 
the entire property of tlie company between ;\Iadison and Portage. 
And although all of his efforts to sell the company's bonds had 
failed, and he had removed all tools and everything that liad been 
used in doing what work had been done, he still claimed that he would 
in time complete our road, but no effort was again made until the year 
1870. In the year 1866, however, the company was released from build- 
ing that part of the road lying between Columbus and Portage. Jlr. 
Campbell was a man of considerable energy and determination, and when 
he undertook to do anything he was very likely to succeed, and some 
things were done by him that were even regarded by many of the wise- 
acres at the capital as being impossible. 

Improvement of South Poynette 

' ' For the past two years our village had not improved very much. A 
Methodist church had been built and some few small dwelling houses 
put up, but the fear of not getting a railroad soon prevented some from 
locating in the village that would have done so, had our railroad pros- 
pects been brighter, and others that had lived in the village for some 
time were deterred by the same cause from extending their improve- 
ments. The prairie south of the village, however, had changed greatly 
in this time. For in crossing it in the autumn of the years 1863 and 1864, 
where a few years before a house could not be seen, now the.y were 
visible in every direction and stacks of grain could be seen and counted 
up into the hundreds. The settlement of this prairie did much towards 
the improvement of our village, which in turn was a great convenience 
to the farmers who had settled on it. 

Fall op Richmond Celebrated 

"In the spring of 1865, I was again elected to the office of chairman 
of our town board, and was continued in said office for the four sue- 


ceediug years until the spring of 1869. On the evening after our election 
had been held in 1865, news was received of the downfall of Richmond, 
and one of the most exciting evenings was spent by our townspeople that 
I ever witnessed. There seemed to be a unanimous desire to bury the 
hatchet, and let all past political difference of opinion cease. Anvils (for 
we had no cannon) were brought out and considerable powder burnt. 
Beer was also lavishly produced and freely drunk. Old men became 
orators and made pacific and patriotic speeches, while younger men 
charged the anvils and touched them off, which with their yells filled the 
air with noise that has not since then been heard in our village. It was 
even hinted that one of our oldest and most partiotic citizens was found 
early the following morning addressing a wooded hill, which he sup- 
posed to be a regiment of returned, scarred and war-worn veterans. On 
the fourth day of October this year (1865), our seventh child, a boy, 
was born. We named him Samuel for his grandfather, and our second 
boy, the little Samuel who was dead. 

Decline of War Prices 

"For several years past the farmers had been selling their products 
for very high prices. And although gold and silver had become an arti- 
cle of merchandise and traffic, and at one time had reached the enormous 
price of two dollars and eighty cents per dollar, or in other words taking 
two hundred and eighty cents of the money we had in circulation to 
buy one hvindred cents in gold, and might almost have been said to have 
ceased to exist, so far as the farming community was concerned, still 
the paper money answered every purpose and circulated very freely and 
the farms were bought and sold and paper money paid for them just 
as gold and silver had been before it ceased to circulate. The war was 
ended and the soldiers returned to their homes, some of them bringing 
considerable money with them, and although times were good and money 
plenty, the general impression was that a reaction would sooner or later 
set in, and in the opinion of many the time was not very far distant. The 
reaction, however, was not so sudden or injurious as many had antici- 
pated. The vast amount of paper money that had been put into circu- 
lation and the return of the soldiers with their pockets generally pretty 
well filled kept money plenty, and times though changed were not what 
might be termed hard. Prices, however, of farm produce, as well as all 
classes and grades of manufactured goods began to decline. Wheat, 
which at one time during the war brought as high as three dollars a 
bushel fell to less than a dollar within less than three years after the 
war closed, and all other grains suffered a marked decline. Wool also. 


whicli at one time, sold for one dollar a pound, fell to from forty to 
fifty cents during the same time. Of course such a decline in prices, 
coupled with the ravages of the chiutz-bugs in our crops, and which had 
but a short time before made their appearance, made farmers somewhat 
discouraged, and the people in our village and countiy adjacent felt the 
effect of the decline in prices and the destruction of our crops as much 
perhaps as other agricultural communities were likely to do. Still we 
had passed through harder times than we were then experiencing and 
did not feel at all alarmed, or did we hesitate to improve or increase our 
property whenever a favorable opportunity occurred. 

Local liiPRovEjiExxs after the "War 

''But few buildings were erected in the village during the two or three 
years succeeding the close of the war. We had commenced agitating the 
building of a more commodious school house, but the difference of opinion 
in the choice of a site made the discussion both bitter and acrimonious 
and kept back the building for some time. It was finally built, how- 
ever, in 1867, and occupied that same year. 

"On the fourth day of December of this year (1865), we formed a 
cemetery association under the general law of the state and a board of 
trustees was elected, consisting of Phineas "Watson, Isaac C. Sargent, 
H. J. Sill, Stephen Brayton, and myself, "^^e purchased from Messrs. 
Brayton & Tomliuson seven acres of land at fifty dollars an acre and 
had it surveyed and platted for burial purposes. A child of Rev. 
Rufus Fancher was the first buried therein." 

During the winter of 1865-66 Mr. Jamieson was first severely afflicted 
with the rheumatism, a disease which caused him much ti-ouble nearly 
every successive year, and nearly every winter had to be spent in the 
South or at least away from business affairs. 

"It had been decided at the annual school meeting held the past 
autumn (1866) to proceed with the building of our school house. Quite 
a respectable minority favored building it on the old site about half a 
mile south of the village, while the ma.jority voted to have it built in the 
village. The contest over the site was fast and keen, and the corres- 
pondence in regard to it, with the state superintendent, was bitter, 
somewhat personal, and must have been amusing in some respects to that 
official." The decision to locate the school in the village was finally 
taken to the courts and an injunction procured forbidding the district 
(Officers from signing a contract for the building. Two of the three 
directors, including Mr. Jamieson, attached their signatures in spite of 
the injunction. "The contract having been signed, Mr. Green furnished 


his bond for the erection of the building, in accordance with the con- 
tract, and the building went on and was finally finished and occupied and 
paid for by the district without further opposition. It is a large and 
commodious two-story building, capable of seating about one hundred 
and seventy to one hundred and eighty scholars. And R. 11. Bashford, 
of iladison was the first principal in our new school house." 

Health Failing 

Mr. Jamieson's health was seriously impaired in 1867 by rheumatism, 
and on the advice of a specialist he spent the following winter in the 
South at Hot Springs. "I had made up my mind that as no perma- 
nent cure could be expected for some considerable time at least, that 
if an opportunity occurred, I would dispose of my hotel property, and 
if possible shape my business so as to take matters a little easier. Such 
an opportunity occurred sooner than I had expected. I had been home 
but a short time when an offer was made me by Messrs. Tomlinson and 
Hudson, which I accepted, and in the month of May, 1868, I transferred 
the hotel and some sixty acres of land to the above named parties, upon 
the pajaiient of five thousand dollars. At the same time I purchased of 
them the home they had formerly occupied for eight hundred dollars. 
I built an addition to the house and lived in it for several years. 

Sixteen Years a Hotelkeeper 

"I had kept hotel from August, 18.52, until May, 1868, a period of 
nearly sixteen years, with the exception of one year, when Samuel AYil- 
kins kept it and I visited Scotland. During this entire time, notwith- 
standing the general impression that prevailed in regard to the character 
of the first settlers of a new country, and also of those who usually work 
in the pineries and the general traveling public on the frontier, I never 
saw but one man knocked down in or about my house, during the time I 
was engaged in that business, and the little afi'ray which caused him to be 
knocked down was a slight misunderstanding that arose between two 
young men who lived near the place, and not between travelers, who 
as a rule, I found to be sociable, intelligent and well-behaved. There are 
of course, always enough disagreeable people in any country to make 
matters at times unpleasant. Having thrown off the burdens and responsi- 
bilities connected with hotel keeping, for some time, I felt as though 
ray occupation was almost entirely gone, but I turned my attention more 
closely to my farm and in time this feeling wore off, and I have never 
had any desire to engage in that business. 


Again Defeated by IMk. Tukner 

"In the autumu of this year (1868), I was again placed in nomina- 
tion by the Democratic party, the political organization to which I 
belonged, as a candidate for the state legislature. Mr. Turner was again 
the opposing candidate and although the result of the vote showed that 
quite a number of those who had opposed me in politics had voted for 
me, the Republican majority was still too great to be overcome, and Mr. 
Turner was again elected. During the year 1869, my time was princi- 
pally occupied in attending to my farm, and by reference to my books 
I find that I was amply rewarded for my labors. My old land, upon 
which wheat was so good, yielded on an average of fifteen bushels per 
acre, and upon my new land, the yield was a trifle over twenty-eight and 
a half bushels per acre. Oats, corn and other crops were also good. 
The difference in the yield between the old and new ground is worthy 
of note. The old land was equally as good as the new, but some ten or 
a dozen crops of different kinds had been taken from it, while this was 
the first crop only from the new land. The comparison showed plainly 
that the elements for the production of wheat had been gradually 
absorbed, and unless something could be done to restore to the soil, the 
necessary elements that produced that cereal its cultivation would soon 
become a thing of the past. 

"On the 5th day of September, 1868, our eighth child, and second 
girl was born. We named her Amy Veola, for her mother's step- 
mother, whose name is Amy, and her aunt Veola. 

Formation of the Madison & Portage Railroad 

"During the latter part of this year I was again visited by Mr. James 
Campbell, who informed me that he intended to secure the passage of 
an act the coming winter incorporating the now owners of that part of 
Sugar River Valley Railroad, lying between Madison and Portage (which 
meant himself principally), as the Madison & Portage Railroad Company, 
and to secure a transfer if possible of all the rights, grants, etc., that 
had been conferred upon the Sugar River Valley Railroad Company by 
its charter and amendments thereto, so far as related to that portion 
of the land, and that he intended to organize by electing a board of 
directors and proceed to build the road, at the same time asking me to 
take a place in the board of directors and render them what assistance 
I could. At the time of his visit I did not give him any decided answer, 
but told him that I would consider the matter and vn-ite him at Fort 
Howard, where he intended to remain a part of the winter. After prop- 


erly considering the matter I made up my mind tliat the condition of 
my health was such that I could not do justice to the active duties of a 
director, and so wrote Mr. Campbell. He replied by saying that he did 
not think the duties would be so laborious, but that I would be able to 
perform them, and rather insisted on my taking the position. He again 
wrote me from Madison, during the winter after he had secured the 
needed legislation, saying that a meeting would be held in that city for 
the purpose of organization and the election of a board of directors on a 
stated day, and urging nie to be present on that occasion, and hoping 
that I had reconsidered my determination not to go into the board, and 
if possible to meet him at Madison the day before the election that we 
might consult each other about the matter. I had fully determined not 
to go into the board however, and so wrote him at Madison to that effect 
promising at the same time to render him all the assistance that was 
within my power to secure the completion of the road. The organiza- 
tion was effected, and Mr. Campbell as a matter of course was chosen 
president of the board. 

"In the month of March, 1870, he again visited Poynette, and after 
some time spent in consultation, concerning his views as to the best 
course to pursue, to secure the final completion of the road, we decided 
to call as many of the citizens together as we could reach readily, and 
present such matters for their consideration in regard to the enterprise 
as was deemed necessary. This preliminary meeting was held at the 
school house in the village, and quite a large number attended it. Mr. 
Campbell explained to those present that to complete the grading and 
tieing of the road, it would require, on a close estimate, about one hun- 
dred thousand dollars: that he proposed to put into the work about 
fifteen thousand dollars, and that other assistance might possibly be got 
to bring the amount up to some twenty-five thousand dollars, which would 
leave a deficiency of seventy-five thousand dollars to be raised in some 
other way. To consult with those who were interested in the completion 
of the work, and to make such suggestions as he thought would aid in 
bringing this about, was the object of his visit. It was also stated that 
under a former organization, efforts had been made to secure subscrip- 
tions to the capital stock of the company, and that such efforts had 
almost proved a failure, as but very little had been subscribed except at 
Poynette, and that amounted to some four or five thousand dollars only. 
It was of no use to again resort to this method to raise the required 
amount and the only possible way it could be raised was to have it done 
by the cities and towns along the line in their corporate capacity. 

"Prom my experience with the Sugar River Valley Company, I was 
well satisfied that these statements were correct, and that if we got a 


railroad at all, we would probably have to get it in this way. I also 
kuew something aliout Jlr. Campbell's financial standing and knew that 
he was nnal>le to complete the road without aid from some source. The 
simple question then was should we favor extending tlie aid in the 
manner suggested, or will we give up all thoughts of ever having the 
railroad ? 

Towx Votes Aid to the Railroad 

"After a full and fair discussion of the matter, and various sugges- 
tions having been made, it was finally decided to present a petition to 
the board of supervisors of the town, praj'ing them to give notice to the 
qualified electors of the town that at the next annual town meeting to be 
held on the 5th day of April a proposition should be submitted for 
ratification or rejection to the effect that the town in its corporate ca- 
pacity subscribe to the capital stock of the jMadison & Portage Railroad 
Company, in the sum of .1<S,000, and H. J. Sill and myself w^ere appointed 
by the meeting a committee to prepare a resolution embodying the above 
proposition in accordance with a state law that had been enacted some 
few years before, whereby towns, cities, incorporated villages, etc., on the 
line of a projected railroad were empowered to extend aid to railroad 
corporations by taking stock in the manner above referred to. The reso- 
lution was carefully prepared and submitted to the people at an 
^adjourned meeting, when it was unanimously adopted. The supervisors 
were next called upon and a notice prepared in which was embodied 
the resolution above referred to. In the notice it was set forth that all 
who were in favor of the resolution should vote, for the railroad, and 
those opposed to it should vote against it. This notice was dated tho 
24th day of ilarch. 1870, and was signed by John McKenzie, who liad 
been elected chairman of the board of supervisors at the annual meeting 
in lS(il), and by William Buckley, another member of the board, and 
AVilliam Ilastie, clerk. ilcKenzie and Buckley were both opposed to 
the road, and signed the notices simply because tlie law required them 
to do so. 

"After the notices were posted, every argument was used by the 
friends of the enterprise to present their views, and give their reasons 
why the road should be built, and the advantages the town would derive 
from the road when once completed. The opposition on the other hand, 
did all in their power to influence the vote against the proposition. ^Ir. 
]\IcKenzie was placed at the head of the ticket for chairman, by the party 
opposing the resolution, and I was placed at the head of the ticket for 
the same office by those favoring the resolution. The contest was ani- 


mated and keen, and at no time in the history of our town had so much 
interest been manifested nor the excitement consequent upon an election 
run so high. The field was thoroughly canvassed and nearly every voter 
was out. It was a day of earnest work and intense excitement, although 
the excitement was of the character that neither any great amount of 
noise or confusion prevailed, but a firm determination seemed settled 
upon every voter's countenance as he walked up to the polls and depos- 
ited his ballot. During the day, the vote was known to be close, and 
as dusk approached, the friends of the measure felt some uneasiness as 
to its faith. All interests, however, were centered in the result as to 
whether the resolution to take stock in the railroad had been carried 
or defeated ; other interests which usually arise at an election were buried 
beneath this, and few eared about the result of the ticket further than 
that if the resolution was carried those who favored it hoped the officers 
nominated by them would also be elected, and those 'who .opposed it 
hoped if it was defeated, the olHeers nominated by them would be elected. 
The sun was fast sinking towards the western horizon, five o'clock, the 
time fixed by law, for the closing of the polls, was near at hand. Each 
party had its lieutenants out watching to see if any voter was still 
back or could be found or approaching the polling place and if so to' 
hurry him forward. The clock struck the hour of five, and with its 
closing stroke, the polls were declared closed. The excitement was now 
intense. It appeared from the poll list that two hundred and eighty- 
nine votes had been cast. The crowd was so great around the table 
where the votes were being counted, that it became almost impossible for 
the officers to perform their duties, and when at last the result was finally 
reached, it proved that two hundred and eighty-four votes in all were 
cast on the railroad question ; and that one hundred and forty-six were 
for the railroad, and one hundred and thirty-eight against the railroad, 
making a ma.jority of eight in favor of the resolution. 

"The majority for the board favoring the railroad w^as much greater. 
The total niunber of votes cast for chairman was two hundred and 
eighty-nine, of which number John McKenzie received one hundred and 
seventeen and I received one hundred and seventy-two. Majority in 
favor of the railroad board was fifty-nine. The vote was conclusive, and 
had it been so accepted by those opposed to the railroad it would have 
been much better both for themselves and those who favored it. But the 
result of the election had scarcely been declared before murmurs of dis- 
satisfaction and threats of hostile action were to be heard among the 
vanquished. An effort had been made by the officers of the road to get 
the question of extending aid in this manner presented to the people of 
all the towns and cities on the line of the road at their spring elections, 


but the effort had been delayed too long to have the proper notice given, 
as the law required ten daj's notice to be given before a vote could be 
taken. And it was some time after our vote had been taken, before a 
vote was reached in the other places interested. 

The Meeting at JIadison 

"During the interim a meeting of the business men and leading 
citizens and property owners along the line was called to meet at the 
rooms of the business board in the city of Madison to consult as to the 
propriety of extending the asked for aid, and if deemed advisable to 
extend the same; to ascertain as near as possible the amount each city 
and town should be called upon to give, taking into consideration the 
ability and needs of the place interested in the road. At this meeting 
there was quite a large attendance. The mayor and a number of the 
most wealthy and influential citizens of Portage, a great many from the 
different towns and villages along the line, and a very large and influ- 
ential representation of the citizens of Madison were present. Among 
the latter were some who were either bitterly opposed to the enterprise 
and had determined if possible to defeat its completion, or perhaps, as 
they themselves stated, had no confidence in Mr. Campbell's ability to 
secure the iron and rolling stock, if the towns and cities on the line should 
raise enough to prepare it for the same. 

"Old Beeswax" and George B. Smith 

"The Hon. George B. Smith was one of the men who seemed to look 
upon Mr. Campbell with a peculiar contempt. He boldly asserted that 
no firm, company or man possessed of common sense would ever take the 
bonds of Campbell's Companj-, as he termed it, and furnish the necessary 
funds to iron and equip the road. But he stated, in some remarks that 
he made at the meeting that he would give Mr. Campbell credit for one 
thing, he had certainly gotten up a liig furore all along tlie line and had 
secured a good attendance to this meeting, and he thought perhaps that 
was all it would amount to. At the same time, looking around the room, 
he asked 'What is there about Campbell anyway to cause so many to 
flock together at his bidding?' and not noticing Mr. Campbell who sat 
back of some of those present he called out in a somewhat stentorian 
voice — 'Where is old Beeswa.x, anyhow?' Mr. Campbell, however, re- 
mained perfectly composed and paid no attention to the remarks of Mr. 
Smith. He had come there with an object in view, and no remarks that 
Smith or any one else could make were allowed to prevent him from 


aeL'oiiiplishing his object, if it were at all possible to do so. A short time 
after Mr. Smith had ceased talking, I spoke with him privately and 
endeavored to persuade him that he was doing some of his best friends 
and the line of the road, great injustice and that if he persisted in his 
opposition it might possibly result in doing them a positive injury. 
Whereupon he replied that it was no use to talk, that 'Jack of Clubs' 
would never build our road and he knew it, and whenever anything 
feasible was presented he would not hesitate to give it his support. 

"Jack op Clubs" Sustained 

"A committee was finally appointed, however, to confer with Mr. 
Campbell and the other officers of the road in regard to their ability 
tt> complete the same, in case the asked for aid was voted, and another 
committee was appointed to determine what amount would be proper 
for each town and city to furnish, taking into consideration the ad- 
vantages to be gained and the benefits to be derived by the difl:erent 
corporations by the building of the road. After the reports of this 
committee were received, the meeting decided to recommend to the 
people of the cities and towns of the line that the aid asked for 
should be voted, and that the amount be the same as that agreed upon 
at this meeting. There was considerable enthusiasm on the part of those 
favoring the road, as a result of this meeting, and before the meeting 
had closed, Mr. Smith even declared that he also would go it blind, as 
he termed it, and favor the voting of the tax. In due time the question 
of voting the tax as recommended by the people at the meeting above 
referred to was submitted to the people of the towns and cities on the 
line of the road, and nearly all of them voted the required amount. Mr. 
Campbell and the other members of the board of directors having met 
with this encouragement immediately set their forces to work to finish 
the grading and tieing of the road. 

General Store for Railroad Men 

"About this time Dr. E. F. Russell and Ambrose Powers, old resi- 
dents of our village, who had got tired waiting for the road and had 
gone West with a view to going into business in some of the territories, 
returned and proposed with me to go into the mercantile business in our 
own village. Their proposition was considered, and by me accepted, 
and in a short time we opened up with a fair stock of goods, for the size 
of the place, under the firm name of Russell, Jamieson & Powers, in the 
building some time before built, and for a while occupied by Ira S. Allen. 


At the time the railroad company started their work, their credit was 
rather low, and laborers were rather dubious about working for them, 
fearing they might not get their pay. As soon as we had fairly opened up, 
however, I visited Mr. Clinton, who had charge of the men, and in their 
presence informed him that the company's orders would be received at 
par for goods at our store in Poynette. This had the desired effect. As 
many of the laborers had large families to support, it required nearly 
all of their earnings to supply their wants, and as we kept a general 
assortment of dry goods, groceries, boots and shoes, we could supply 
them with nearly all they recjuired, and while the road was being built, 
we did quite a flourishing business, and it did much towards establisliing 
the company's credit, which they at that time so much needed. Although 
I had taken no position in the board, I continued to serve the company 
as well and faithfully perhaps, as I could have done had I been a mem- 
ber of that body. I secured for the company and settled with the owners 
for a considerable part of the right of way to the town of Arlington, and 
for some also in the town of De Korra. 

"For some time after the work had been started, people along the 
line generally expected that it would be continued for a short time, when 
it would again be stopped as it had been so many times before. As the 
summer wore on, however, and the company kept increasing their force, 
and crowding the work, they began to think that after waiting so long 
they were at last likely to get a railroad. Not until autumn, however, 
when the ties and iron began to arrive and be put down were they per- 
fectl.y satisfied that the road would actually lie completed. 

Transfer of Town Bonds for Railroad Stock 

"A resolution that had been passed at our town meeting provided 
that as soon as the road should be built and equipped from either ter- 
minus of said railroad to the village of Po.vnette, in the town of De Korra, 
that the supervisors of such town of De Korra should deliver the full 
amount of bonds voted to the treasurer or authorized agent of the com- 
pany, and subscribe to the capital stock of said railroad company to the 
amount of bonds delivered, and receive therefor a full paid certificate of 
stock in favor of said town. In order to carry out the instructions of the 
people as embodied in this resolution and as the road was fast approach- 
ing the village, I had the bonds with interest coupons attached prepared 
in Chicago, and forwarded to me at Poynette. As soon as they were 
received, I called a meeting of the board of supervisors, and suggested 
that a resolution be passed authorizing the execution and delivery of the 
bonds. After some discussion in regard to the matter, a resolution 


was prepared and unanimously adopted, in accordance with the sug- 
gestion stated above. The bonds and coupons were then signed by the 
chairman, and coxmtersigned by the clerk, and delivered to the town 
treasurer. An order was then presented by Mr. Winslow BuUen, the 
authorized agent of the railroad company, calling for the delivery of the 
bonds to him as said company's agent. Whereupon the town treasurer, 
Mr. William B. Laughlin, by order of the board of supervisors, deliv- 
ered the bonds to Mr. Bulleu, and received the receipt of the treasurer 
of the railroad company for the same. The company just at that timo, 
however, were not prepared to receive subscriptions to the capital stock, 
nor give a certificate for the amount of stock to be taken by the town as 
required by the resolutions passed at the annual town meeting. And 
the road, although nearly completed to our place, was not opened for 
business. The supervisors therefore concluded that the bonds had better 
be left in their possession until the road was completed and everything 
secured beyond the possibility of a failure. To this Mr. BuUen readily 
consented, as he saw it was but just that the town should retain possession 
of the bonds until they receive their stock. 

Bond Question Traced to the End 

"On the second day of November the books of the comiDany were 
presented to the supervisors of the town, who subscribed in the name of 
the town to the capital stock of the company for the sum of eight thou- 
sand dollars, and upon delivering the bonds of the town for that amount 
received a certificate of full paid stock for the same. I will here anticipate 
a few years and dispose of this bond question without again referring 
to the same. When, in February, 1871, the first installment became 
due, the funds had not been raised to meet the same, as those who had 
opposed voting the tax procured an injunction enjoining the collector 
from collecting the same, and when the coupon fell due, the company 
commenced suit in the United States District court, and obtained judg- 
ment against the town for the amount due. Even after this decision 
was rendered, which virtually settled the legality of the bond and should 
have convinced all interested that further opposition was not only 
foolish, but likely to result in serious injury to the tax payers of the 
town, they continued their opposition and compelled the company to 
go into court and take judgment on the bonds also and the result was 
that the town paid in all something over twelve thousand dollars in 
place of the eight thousand dollars that was voted, and the last payment 
was not made until the winter of 1875-76. 


"Old Beeswax" Got There 

"After the road was opened for business from Portage to Pojniette, 
in the autumn of 1870, Messrs. Wentworth & Company, or Wentworth, 
McGregor & Company, built a small rough board grain warehouse and 
opened a grain market at this point. This company also ran some lumber 
down from Portage, and sold it to the farmers and others in and around 
the place. Soon after the road was opened as far as Poynette, and as 
winter was close at hand, I started with my family for Central IMis- 
souri. At the time I left home in November, the railroad had not 
reached Madison, Imt while in Missouri, during the winter, I had a letter 
from my friends in AVisconsiu, informing me of the completion of the 
road to that place, and also of the arrival of the first train over our 
road to the capital city. The same letter also informed me that Mr. G. 
B. Smith, S. IMills, and others who had doubted Mr. Campbell's ability 
to complete the work, had been duly notified before the arrival of the 
train to be on their guard, for 'Old Beeswax was coming.' 

"The building of this road from Madison to Portage shows very 
clearly what energy and perseverance, coupled with an iron will and the 
determination to succeed will accomplish. 

"It was not ilr. Campbell's intention, however, that Madison should 
long remain the southern terminus, nor Portage the northern terminus 
of this road, and in 1871 the Madison & Portage Company was author- 
ized by the legislature to extend its road across. the Illinois State line 
and north from Portage City to Lake Superior, and the same year it 
was consolidated with the Rockford Central Railroad Company of Illi- 
nois, and its name was changed to the Chicago & Superior Railroad Com- 
pany, retaining, however, its own organization. Mr. Atkins of New 
York, the party furnishing the funds, becoming involved in other enter- 
prises refused to take any more of the company's bonds and the work 
was again stopped and the road from Madison to Portage leased to the 
Chicago, ililwaukee & St. Paul Company. Although Mr. Campbell is 
without doubt fully entitled to the full credit of completing this line of 
road, he has frequently told me that but for the aid and encouragement 
received from the citizens of Poynette, he very much doubted if he ever 
could have accomplished the work. 

"During this same year (1870), I also had one of those painful 
duties to perform which is apt to fall to the lot of man during his earthly 
pilgrimage. My mother died at the residence of her daughter, Mrs. 
Janet Wilson in the town of Arlington on the fourteenth day of April. ' ' 

Establishes Grain Business 
Much dissatisfaction existing among the farmers as to the conduct of 
the local grain market at Poynette, Mr. Jamieson in 1871 sold his interest 


in the store, erected an elevator and began taking in grain in September, 
and dealing in lumber. In the face of much competition and considerable 
prejudice in favor of older markets in the course of several years, he 
became well established in this new line. 

"On the eighteenth day of November of this year (1871), our ninth 
child, a little girl, was born. We named her Alice Agnes, for her aunts, 
Alice on her mother's side, and her Aunt Agnes on the side of her 
father. I also moved from the village on to my farm this same season. 
And on the twenty-third day of December of this year also I was elected 
Master of the Poynette Lodge of Free Masons. The Lodge had been 
organized in 1868, and I became a member and was raised to the degree 
of a master Mason that same year. My relations with this lodge have 
been of the most agreeable nature, and I shall ever remember vdth 
pleasure the enjoyable evenings I spent within its walls. During the 
year 1872, my entire time and attention were given to the business in 
which I had but recently engaged, ily grain and lumber business 
had considerably increased since I first commenced. My shipments 
of grain from the time I opened in September, 1871, to the thirty-first 
day of December of that same year did not average to exceed fifteen 
hundred bushels per month. In 1872 the average was nearly two thou- 
sand five hundred bushels per month, while in the year 1873, the average 
was upwards of six thousand bushels per month, or some seventy-three 
thousand bushels for the entire season. And upwards of one-third of 
that amount was taken into the elevator, in a little over one month after 
threshing had commenced in the fall. Nearly half of the wheat taken 
in up to this time graded No. 1, and scarcely any graded below 
No. 2. My lumber, business had also considerably increased. In 
1871 I sold only somewhere about one hundred thousand feet. In 1872 
I sold some two hundred and fifty thousand feet, while this year (1873), 
I sold three hundred and twenty-five thousand. I handled considerable 
live stock, and some dressed hogs this season, and quite a quantity of 
wool. During the year 1874 my grain business increased some, but 
not a great deal. My lumber business, however, was much greater. 
I also handled a much greater number of live stock, but not so 
much wool, and I shipped a considerable quantity of coarse grain and 
ground feed to different points in the pineries. This year we built what 
is known as the Presbyterian church in our village, for which the princi- 
ple part of the material was bought at my lumber yard." 

The winter months of all these years Mr. Jamieson spent in the south 
for the benefit of his health, usually leaving the management of his 
increasing business to his older sons. "At the town election held in 
April of this year (1875), I was again chosen chairman of the town 


board of supervisors, which somewhat increased my responsibilities. 
My farming interests had also considerably increased, my stock of neat 
cattle amounting at times to some sixty head, besides horses, sheep, swine 
and poultry, all of which I usually kept quite a number. 

Cheese F.vctory Est.\.blished 

"On the third day of February, 1876. articles of incorporation were 
filed in the ofSce of the secretary of state by E. F. Russell, W. C. Gault, 
William Forrest, John Collins, and myself, under the name of the 
Poj-nette Cheese Manufacturing Company, and of this company, I was 
elected president, James Mack, secretary, and E. F. Russell, treasurer. 
The capital stock of the association was placed at two thousand five hun- 
dred dollars. During the spring a large two-story building was 
erected. II. J. Xoyes was engaged to superintend the factory the 
first season, E. O. Madison, the second, and C. J. Harris has had charge 
of it since. It did not prove a very profitable investment, and the stock 
kept changing hands until in 1879, I found myself in possession of the 
entire amount." It should be noted that during the existence of tliis 
factory, Mr. Jamieson shipped abroad several consignments of cheese 
to Glasgow, Scotland, and thus some of the products of the new country 
where he had settled in his early manhood found their way to his native 

"During the same year. 1876. the brick stores of E. F. Russell and 
L. A. Squire, were built, which buildings added greatly to the appearance 
of our village. While in process of construction one of those fearful 
tornadoes which of late years had occasionally visited some of the western 
states passed over the place injuring these buildings slightly, demolish- 
ing several entirely and seriously injuring otliers. 

Business P.\sses to Jamiesox (H. P.) & C4ArLT (^\. C.) 

"Jly son, H. P. Jamieson. who had been helping me in my grain 
and lumber business for the past few years, having gained quite a knowl- 
edge of the business, now desired to engage in something of this kind 
on his own account, and as my health was very poor, I proposed to him 
to secure some good steady man as a partner, and I would turn this part 
of my business over to them. A partnership was formed between him 
and William C. Gault, and on the twelfth day of August of this same 
year, 1878, I turned over to the firm of Jamieson & Gault my entire stock 
of lumber, etc., and rented them my grain elevator and lumber yard. 
Having thrown off the responsibilities and cares of this part of my 


business to a great extent, I felt as though mj- time was not employed 
as it should be, and as I had some time before determined that if I was 
ever able to erect a good, comfortable, substantial home, and if the 
proper time ever arrived where I could give it my personal attention, 
I should build such a house and surround it with such conveniences as 
might afford me some comfort and consolation for the many years of 
hard and incessant toil I had passed through, and which would afford 
a comfortable and convenient home for myself and her who was perhaps 
as deserving of it as I was. Thinking this time had now arrived, in the 
latter part of the month of September, I procured the assistance of Mr. 
E. B. Thomas and stepped into the corner of my oat field, which had this 
same year yielded me seventy-five bushels an acre, and there staked off 
the spot and commenced excavating for the basement of the house in 
which I now live, and where with God's will the remainder of my days 
will probably be spent. The building, however, was not fully completed, 
so I could move into it, until October of the following year." 

Farm Machinery and Supplies 

On February 9, 1880, Mr. and Mrs. Jamieson suffered the severe 
bereavement in the death of their youngest child, Alice. The many 
details concerning family affairs and business which fill most of the 
later pages in the manuscript must necessarily be omitted. In 1880, 
having contemplated for some time engaging in business of farm machin- 
ery and supplies, he opened up in the spring of that year with a very 
fair stock of farm machinery, wagons, barb-wire, etc. His object in tak- 
ing up this business was to work up some kind of an enterprise for his 
son Addison, who had now reached an age when all men wanted to be 
doing something for themselves. ' ' In the month of January, of this same 
year (1881), I opened a correspondence with Marshall & Ilsley of Mil- 
waukee for the purpose of furnishing exchange to the business men of 
the place to men who might want such accommodations and have ever 
since continued furnishing any who might want the same. During this 
year, however, my attention and time were principally occupied with 
my farm, and working up the machinery business. I also had the cheese 
factory run, but with little profit. When spring opened, I again 
increased my stock of farm machinei-y, and had by this time got a very 
fair business established. I accordingly, on the twelfth day of 
August of this same year, 1881, turned all of this stock over to my son 
Addison, and at the same time he united his business with the business 
of Jamieson & Gault, and merging both into one they commenced doing 
under the firm name of Jamieson, Gault & Company, which 


firm contiimed business at the time of my writing. I also ran the 
cheese factory this season but with no better success, and I now began 
to think of abandoning it entirely and converting the building into some- 
thing more useful, or at least more profitable, as there seemed to be no 
disposition on the part of the farming community in this section to 
give anuch heed to the daiiying interests." 

Ju.STLY Proud of His Hojieste.vd 

The cardinal virtues of the late Hugh Jamiesou may be said to have 
been love of land, of peace and industry, and his happy later years were 
largely disposed in supervising the estate, which he had accumulated 
thi'ough business and farming. An evidence of this appears in some 
of the later pages of his writings, in which he refers to his purchase, in 
1874, of forty acres which had been acquired from the government in 
1836 by ^Yallace Rowan. That land, as he stated, possessed "some fea- 
tures of interests, that none of my other farms did to me, because besides 
containing the first forty acres entered in Columbia County, and the spot 
where the first house was built in the same county, it was here on this 
farm that I first saw the girl that was to become my wife, on it I wooed 
and won her, and on it too our honeymoon was spent, and our first 
housekeeping done. A stream of the purest spring water runs through it, 
and some of its scenes are quite interesting. During this summer, I 
would drive over this farm to see my cattle nearly every day, and who 
is there that could look down into a deep glen, where the grasses are 
rich and luxuriant and a clear, bubbling brook running s\viftly along 
and see a herd of cattle greedily devouring the succulent grasses, 
without feeling a just pride at being the owner of such surroundings, 
and a feeling of satisfaction in knowing that the same had been acquired 
by the efforts of his own hands and brain?" 

Retrospect in 1883 

The final pages of these memoirs were written at the close of January, 
1883, and he summarizes the progress of his vicinity during the years 
of his residence, in the following words : " It is now nearly thirty- four 
years since I first set foot in Columbia County. At that time ther(^ were 
not far from thirty families w-ithin a radius of three miles from where 
the village of Poynette now stands, most of whom had settled there within 
the two years previous to my coming. Of the heads of those families, 
a very few, I think not to exceed six, are now living within those limits. 
A few have removed to other states, but by far the greater number of 


them are dead. For many years after my coming I used to cut my hay 
where the Lower Mill Pond now is, and my pasture fence stood where 
is now the center of Main Street, and which is the principal street in the 
village. Within the limits above named there are now not less than 
from two hundred to two hundred and fifty families, the village alone 
containing between four and five hundred of population. It also has a 
' graded school of three departments, two churches, two parsonages, two 
grist mills, two hotels, two meat markets, one lumber yard, two farm 
implement and machinery shops, a grain and stock market, two black- 
smith shops, two wagon shops, three boot and shoe shops, two drug stores, 
three hardware stores, two harness shops, six dry goods and gi'ocery 
stores, some of whose sales alone amount to nearly forty thousand dollars 
a year, two paint shops, two saloons, two tailor shops, two millinery 
shops, four dressmaking shops, two barber shops, one cheese factory, 
several carpenter and joiner shops, one furniture store, and one livery 
stable. There is also a Masonic Lodge, a Good Templars Lodge, and 
with the reciuisite number of doctors, ministers and all the necessary 
paraphernalia to make a first-class, thrifty business city. It also has a 
country around it to warrant its much greater increase both in popula- 
tion and business." 

His Religious Creed 

While several members of his family in Wisconsin were active 
workers in the Presbyterian church, Mr. Jamieson says of his own 
religious experience — "I have never sought for admission to become a 
member of any religious body, for the reason that I do not believe that 
with my hasty and impulsive temper, which I confess I have never been 
able to entirely subdue, I could honestly and conscientiously comply 
with the vows or obligations a member has to take in uniting with such 
organizations. And I believe I will be more acceptable to the Master 
not to take those vows, than to take them and afterwards violate them. 
Besides I regard every man as a Christian that labors for the public 
weal, and the advancement and elevation of his race, for if Christianity 
means anything, it certainly means this. I believe, however, in church 
organization, and think that all who can honestly live up to the vows 
taken on uniting with the church ought not to hesitate in becoming a 
member of whatever church is best suited to their minds. 

"My efforts in Columbia County, notwithstanding my poor health. 
have been reasonably successful, so far as the accumvilation of property 
is concerned, as my tax receipts will show. My first tax paid in the 
county for the year 1848, as before stated, was two dollars and thirty 


cents on eighty acres of land, inclusive of highway taxes ; and the receipt 
■which I hold for taxes paid on eleven hundred and six acres which I 
now own, inclusive of highway taxes and personal property for the year 
1882 amounts to over five hundred dolars. Some people may think I 
have not used the means placed in my hands just as they would have 
done. In this, however, I have been governed wholly by my own judge- 
ment, and hold myself responsible only to the power that placed it in 
my keeping. What little property I have acquired has been made from 
strictly legitimate business transactions, and not through any gambling 
or speculative operations." 

Good Family Stock 

Modern science takes much account of the influence that a family 
stock has on the social health and wellbeing of any given community. 
It is known that one family, given to dissipation and vagabondage, 
will cause thousands of dollars of expense to a county and will extend 
its weakening and corrupting influence to many others in the neighbor- 
hood. In the light of these facts, the concluding sentences of Hugh 
Jamieson's memoirs may very properly be quoted. During the years 
both himself and other members of his immediate family had lived in 
Wisconsin, besides contributing to the general support of government 
and schools and institutions, he was able to state that not one ' ' has ever 
caused the state or county in which we live to be at one dollar of expense 
in prosecuting or defending an action, either of a civil or criminal nature, 
nor for any other purpose whatsoever, except as sharers of the general 
expense in governing the whole, our full proportion of which has always 
been cheerfully and willingly paid. I might as well state here also that 
while our ancestors are known to have lived in the same parish (viz. 
that of Loudon in Ayrshire (Scotland), for upwards of three hundred 
and fifty years, several of whom are known to have fought, bled and 
died for the civil and religious freedom of their country, (as the battle 
of Both well Bridge and other battlefields will fully attest), I think the 
court records of the county in which they live might be searched in vain 
for any evidence of a criminal or even civil action of any consequence 
in which any of them were ever engaged, except in defense of their 
civil or religious rights. And I am satisfied that the records of no poor 
house ever contained one of their names, for all of which I sincerely 
thank God, and only hope that those who come after us may not defile 
the records ; and that the country of our adoption may never have cause 
to regret the transplanting made in Wisconsin in the years 1848 and 


1849 from that small manufacturing town on the banks of Irvine in 
Ayrshire, Scotland. ' ' 

Mr. Jamieson's Death 

The writer of these memoirs lived fully fifteen years after he had 
penned the last words of the manuscript and died at his home in Poy- 
nette, January 20, 1898. 



Founded by JIajor Elbert Dickason — Naming of AVyocena — High 
Grade op Early Settlers — First Store — Messrs. Dey and Dicka- 
son — The Dairy Industries — Picnic Held on Historic Ground — 
Sketch of J. M. Bushnell. 

A few miles northwest of the center of Columbia County is Wyocena; 
famed more than sixty years ago as the headquarters of the county gov- 
ernment, but now rather quiet and subdued, although neat and bright. 
The village has long been the seat of the County Insane Asylum and 
Poor Home : a full history of which will be found in the chapter on 
"County Organization." It is the center of a rich dairy district, and 
has a modern creamery, several business places, a substantial bank and 
a flour mill (located outside the village limits). Wyoeena was incor- 
porated as a village in 1909. 

Founded by Ma.jor Elbert Dickason 

Sometime in the fall of 1843. after his ruinous experience as the 
founder of Columbus. Maj. Elbert Dickason opened a farm on what is 
now Duck Creek, in the northern part of Section 21, present Town of 
Wyoeena. He was poverty-stricken, but still brave and hopeful. He 
converted a portion of his log house into a "hotel," and in 1846. when 
the county was organized, platted a village upon his farm. When he 
arrived upon the ground he named the stream Duck Creek, and the post- 
office established at that point in 1845 was given that name also. 

Naming of Wyocena 

What occurred soon afterward, in order to christen it more euphoni- 
ously, and more befitting its ambition as an aspirant for the county seat, 
is told by J. M. Bushnell, of the Wyocena Advance, who is a native of 


the village and also a representative of one of the pioneer families of 
the town : 

"This, one of the first settlements in Columbia County," lie says, 
"was known as Duck Creek until the summer of 1846, when it was a 
prominent candidate for the seat of government of the county. The 
ambitious early settlers of Duck Creek decided that in order to succeed 
in this direction they needed a different name for the settlement. 

' ' Many and various were the names presented by the ones who usually 
congregated at the public house of Major Dickason dailj'. During this 
discussion the major had a dream which resulted in a name for the set- 
tlement. The follawing morning he related it to the assembled settlers 
as follows: He said he had been on a journey the night before to a 
county metropolis, where all was business and hustle and the name of 
the city was Wyocena. This so enthused his guests that they at once 
decided to call it by that name and so the name has remained, but the 
early orthography has changed several times. 

"It was probablj' during the following year, 1847, that one Parks 
Bronson, a pioneer pedagogue in this section gave to it its present spelling. 

"The name is not Indian. No one of our Indian students has been 
able to find anything in any of the Indian tongues that will admit of 
such a construction. 

"Then again the major would have nothing Indian in his. He had 
occasion the first year of his residence to dislike them. His first crop 
of wheat proved to be too good a food for their ponies to have any left 
for his own necessities. It is said that while an Indian was well treated 
at the log tavern, his scalp was in need of insurance if he met the major 
in the woods. 

"The early name for the stream on which Wyocena is located was 
Wauona River, and this beautiful name had to give way to the major's 
dislike of Indian names and be christened Duck Creek, much to the dis- 
like of many. 

"AVyocena had the proud distinction of having been the county seat 
in 1847 and 1848, and again in 1850. The usual scramble for county 
seat honors was rampant in those pioneer daj^s, and in 1851 it was perma- 
nently located at Portage — though the early settlers made the claim that 
it was done by the floating vote of laborers on the. then building, canal. 

High Grade of E.vrly Settlers 

"Perhaps no town was ever settled with a more intelligent, sturdy and 
industrious people than was Wyocena. They endured many hardships 
and saw much of privation, though few ever knew real want, for the land 


was very productive and easilj' tilled so that the necessaries were at hand 
if the luxuries were missing. Mills and markets w^ere far away at the 
start, and the teamster was obliged to carry tools on his trips to repair 
an axletree or a wagon tongue when broken. 

"Many of them started out for market with a load of grain and 
returned in debt. These were some of the many hardships endured by 
the early settlers. 

"The fabulous crops easily grown induced many to come here and 
settle and probably no town in Wisconsin had more of its first settlers 
make permanent homes than did Wyocena. " 

First Store 

Jacob Rogers opened the first store iu AVyocena. during 1847. and, 
as was customary, his was a forerunner of one of our modern "depart- 
ment stores." The settlers did not have to go elsewhere for anything 
on earth they required — fortunately for them. 

Pioneer Schools and Churches 

Also in 1847, when Wyocena was the temporary countj^ seat, the 
citizens erected a small frame building for school purposes. It was used 
eight years, when the district erected a larger two-story frame school- 
house, 32x40 feet, and the scholars were divided into two departments, 
the primary pupils occupying the lower room and those more advanced, 
the upper. 

Two years before the completion of this building. Elder S. E. ]\Iiner, 
of the Congregational Church, erected a building for a select school, in 
which the higher branches should be taught — a preparatory institution 
for those designed for a collegiate education. The venture was not suc- 
cessful, and in 1847, the building was disposed of to the ]\Iethodists and 
Baptists for church purposes. 

In the meantime (1845), Wyocena had been honored with a postofSce, 
with Harvey Bush as first postmaster. 

]\Iessr.«. Dey -vnd Dickason 

The first grist mill was erected by John Hunter and Chauncey Spear 
in 1853, Ben.iamin Dey purchasing an interest in the fall of the year. Af- 
ter being operated two years under the firm name Hunter & Dey, the lat- 
ter became sole proprietor. The mill was burned in the fall of 1855. but 
Mr. Dey immediately rebuilt and operated it until the Civil war. At 



the opening of hostilities he went to Missouri as a wagoniiiaster, and was 
in the cavalry service during the last two years of the war. At its con- 
clusion he returned to Wyocena, and engaged in farming or milling dur- 
ing the remainder of his life. Mr. Dey first settled in the locality in 1844, 
and was a co-temporary of Major Diekason, who died in 1848. 

The major was a hearty, honest man. somewhat abrupt and occa- 
sionally domineering, but generally respected and popular, despite the 
fact that he was by no means what a citizen of the world would call suc- 
cessful. But he "tried hard:" so rest to his fruitless striving! 

The Dairy iNDrsTRiES 

Among the industries which obtained a later foothold in Wyocena, 

Wyocena Public School 

was the manufacture of cheese. The Wyocena Cheese Factory was estab- 
lished in the village in 1875, and three years afterward Chauncey Spear 
founded a factory one mile east. 

At the commencement of the industry, not only at Wyocena, but 
throughout the county, the manufacture of cheese made little progi'ess 
on account of the short and irregular supply of milk, but with the 
growth of dairy farming that drawback was overcome; and the cream- 
eries sprung up and flourished even more vigorously than the cheese 

Wyocena is now represented by a neat busy creamery, conducted by 
E. V. Harpold, and although it is but a few years old it is turning 
out 100,000 pounds of butter annually. 


AYyocexa State Baxk 

The Wyoceiia State Bank was organized in 1910. It has a capital 
of $12,000. and deposits amounting to $40,000. Present officers : S. C. 
Cushman, president ; AY. J. Steele, vice president ; J. H. Dooley, cashier. 

The Baptists 

The Baptists and Congregationalists have societies in Wyocena. The 
former held the first religious services in town at which there was preach- 
ing. This was in the summer of 1846. when Elder Wood, a Baptist min- 
ister conducted services, preaching occasionally at Wyocena for a year 
thereafter. In 1852. Elder Moses Rowley organized a congregation, and 
in the following year Elder Wood returned and remained as a regular 
pastor for four years ; assumed the pastorate, for the third time, in 1860, 
and thus continued for over twenty years. At present the Baptist Church 
is without a settled pastor. It has a membership of about sixty. 

The Congregational Church 

The Congregationalists are under the pastoral care of Rev. R. C. Ben- 
nett, who also has charge of the church at Rio. The origin of the society 
at Wyocena dates from 1850. In that year an Old School Presbyterian 
Church was organized by Rev. William W. J\IcNair of Portage, who 
preached for a short time. At first services were held in the old school- 
house. The original church consisted of nine members. On March 11, 
1853. a meeting of the First Presbyterian Church of Wyocena was called 
at the house of Rev. S. E. I\Iiner. who was invited to act as moderator. 
Parks Bronson was elected temporary clerk, and letters of dismissal were 
granted to the following eight members of the First Presbyterian : Linus 
Blair. Harvey White, Parks Bronson. George Gregg. Nancy Blair, ilrs. 
H. White, and Mr. and Mrs. John Ferrier. 

Steps were at once taken to organize a Congregational Church, such 
being the unanimous recommendation of those present. Thus originated 
the First Congregational Church of Wyocena. Eighteen members organ- 
ized under the articles of faith and covenant of the General Convention 
of Wisconsin, and elected Linus Blair and Harvey White as deacons. A 
formal organization was effected April 9. 1853. and church building was 
dedicated in March, 1855. 

Social and Literary 

Wyocena has a number of societies of a social and literary nature 
which tend to make life worth living. Perhaps the most active of these 


is the camp of the Royal Neighbors of America. The Woodmen of 
America have also a good lodge and the Study Club, organized and sup- 
ported by the women, is the means of many pleasant and profitable gather- 
ings. Through the latter organization the village has collected a well- 
selected traveling library, which is the undoubted nucleus of a larger 
and more permanent institution. 

Picnic Held on Historic Ground 

In connection with the social activities of Wyoceua, mention is clue 
of the very successful picnic at that village, given by the Royal Neigh- 
bors and Modern Woodmen of the county, on June 14-15, 1905. J. M. 
Bushnell was elected president of the Picnic Association. Some seven 
thousand visitors were present, and the Royal Neighbors won the prize 
drill. The procession was a great success, as was the picnic proper in 
the beautiful oak grove at the Point, east of the village where the branches 
of Duck Creek come together. Not only the natural charms of the spot 
and the surroundings, but the remains of the old military breast-works 
in the grove, the site of the Indian village opposite (now almost covered 
by the waters of the stream), and the knowledge that almost within hail- 
ing distance of the .iolly and secure picnickers once ran the old ililitary 
Road, along which Uncle Sam's boys, Indians and the traders measured 
many a weary mile in the wilderness of Central Wisconsin — all these 
charms of Nature and historic associations combined to make the big 
gathering at Wyocena an occasion long to be remembered. 

Sketch of J. M. Bushnell 

J. Monroe Bushnell was born in Wyocena, -July 14, 1851, on a farm 
adjoining the village, the son of D. S. and Sarah A. (Brown) Bushnell, 
who came to Wyocena from Jefferson County, New York in 1848. D. S. 
Bushnell was born in Waitsfield, Vermont, April 5, 1803, and died at 
Wyocena September 8, 1887 ; Sarah A. Brown, born at Sprague Corners. 
New York, March 12, 1823, died at Wyocena, April 12, 1894. 

]Mr. Bushnell, of this sketch, was educated in the public schools and 
also attended at the Oshkosh Normal. He taught schools in Wisconsin 
and Iowa for several years; was a traveling salesman for a number of 
years; has held numerous local offices, and was the presidential elector 
from the Second District of Wisconsin in 1904. He has followed other 
pursuits, but for some time now has edited the Wyocena Advance. 

On June 12, 1874, ilr. Bushnell, married Jennie M. Scott of Spring- 
vale, who was born February 17, 1854, and died June 5, 1880. 


On February 28, 1884, he was united in marriage to Ida A. West- 
cott of River Falls, Wis., who is a graduate of the Normal School at that 
that place. She taught school for several years : was a teacher in the acad- 
emy at River Falls for a time and principal of the Baldwin graded schools 
for two years. Mrs. Bushnell has always taken much interest in educa- 
tional work; was clerk of the local schools for fourteen years and has 
been secretary and one of the directors of the County Traveling Library 
Board since its inception nine years ago. 

Mr. and J\lrs. Bushnell trace their ancestry back to the first settle- 
ments of the New World ; her aneesters coming over in the ship William 
and Francis in 1632, and his on the ship Planter in 1635. 



Drainage and Land Surface — Chester Bushnell, First Settler- 
Dyer, Brown and Sage Locate — The Magnificent McCafferty — 
First Land Entries — School and Church on Section 23 — Town 
Government in Running Order — Reminiscences of James C. Carr 
(By His Daughter, Mrs. Gertrude C. Fuller) — First Birth and 
First Death — Farming Under Difficulties — An Opinionated 
Applicant — Public Service of Carr and Adams — Story He Told 
on Brother Sage — Benjamin Sage, the Victim — Village of Fall 
River — A. A. Brayton, First Settler — Postoffice in 1847 — The 
Village Schools — Methodist and Baptist Churches — EabijY Times 
in Village and Town. 

The town of Fountain Prairie lies in the southeastern part of the 
county, in the first eastern tier of townships, Dodge County being to the 
east. It received its name from the fact that there was a spring or 
stream of living water on every section of land save three. 

Drainage and Land Surface 

The north branch of the Crawfish River enters the town on Section 
18, passes through into 17, 8, 9, 10, and 16, where it unites with the main 
stream ; the south branch enters on Section 30, runs through 31, 29, 20, 
and 21, and on 16 joins the main stream, which courses through Sections 
15, 14, 13, 23, 26, 27, 34 and 35, and pa.sses out from Section 36. 

Fountain Prairie lies directly south of the town of Courtland. but is 
considerably lower than the latter, the dividing ridge veering to the 
westward. Prairie occurs in the southwestern sections only. Narrow 
marshy belts are seen in the northern and middle portions. The largest 
part of the town lies at an altitude of 300 to 350 feet, the extremes being 
from 250 feet along the Crawfish in the southeastern part to 400 feet 


iu the uorthwestern. The streams run in shallow, but well defined 

Chester Bushnell, First Settler 

The first actual settler of the town was Cliester Bushnell, who arrived 
in the spring of ISiS and erected a board shanty on Section 33, in the 
extreme southern part of the town. 

Dyer, Brown and Sage Locate 

In September of that year Wayne B. Dyer located, and built the first 
log house, while about the same time John Brown and Benjamin Sage 
selected land in the south of the town. Mr. Brown built a log house on 
his land in Section 34 and ilr. Sage returned to Vermont for his family. 
In Jul.y of the succeeding year IMr. Sage brought his household with him 
and established a homestead in the same section iu which IMr. Brown 

Mr. Sage became settled none too soon, as on the 2d of the following 
month his wife presented him with a daughter, whom they named Martha 
— the first child to be born in the Town of Fountain Prairie. 

The Magnificent jMcC.vfferty 

Belonging to this year of the first pioneer (1843), is the name of 
H. W. MeCafferty. "McCaiferty's claim was on Section 21 and adjoin- 
ing sections. IMac had an eye to a ranch of magnificent proportions. He 
plowed a few acres and sowed it to winter wheat in the fall of 1843 ; a 
very fair crop was harvested, although somewhat injured by the deer 
feeding upon it. The California gold fever breaking out soon after this, 
MeCafferty was swept along with it. When he returned, part of his 
claim had been taken up by others and the remainder had been despoiled 
of its timber; .so he abandoned it. Yet his name adheres to the place, 
as the high ridge of land running through Sections 21 and 15 is known 
as MeCafferty 's Ridge." 

First Land Entries 

The first entry of land in the town was made by James C. Carr, on 
July 15, 1843. He settled upon his land in June, 1844, and the railway 
station at Fall River now occupies a portion of it. Carr was a New 


Yorker, held several local offices, but moved to Colorado in 1863. The 
first death in the town, that of his wife, occurred in August, 1845. 

Wayne B. Dyer, the next to enter land, made claims on Sections 34 
and 26, in August and October, 1843, but soon afterward sold them and 
located in the present Town of Otsego, where he was the first settler and 
the first house-builder. 

School and Church on Section 23 

Quite a settlement was effected in the southeast corner of the town 
as early as 1845, and in the fall of that year a schoolhouse was built on 
Section 23. 

The building was also used for religious purposes, irrespective of 
creed. There Rev. Stephen Jones, N. S. Green, E. J. Smith and other 
pioneer ministers preached the Word as they saw it. School was held 
in that little house, summer and winter, until the organization of the 
town into school districts in 1849, when a better structure was provided 
for the youth; but the religious elders occupied the church for several 
years thereafter. 

Town Government in Running Order 

In January, 1849, a township under the name of Fountain Prairie 
was set off by the Board of County Commissioners from the voting pre- 
cinct created three years before. The store of A. A. Brayton was desig- 
nated as the place for holding the first election. There were sixty-two 
names on the poll list, and Mr. Brayton was elected chairman of the 
town board; John Q. Adams, superintendent of schools, and Nelson S. 
Green, treasurer. Thus the township government was put in running 
order. In the earlier years the most prominent members of the board 
were Messrs, Alfred A. Brayton, John Q. Adams, James C. Cai-r, Henry 
C. Brace, H. C. Field, William H. Proctor and M. C. Hobart. 

Reminiscences of James C. Carr 
By His Daughter, 3Irs. Gertrude C. Fuller 

James C. Carr, who made the first entry of land within the limits of 
the present Town of Fountain Prairie, was among the most widely known 
pioneers of that section and throughout the county. His daughter, now 
Mrs. Gertrude C. Fuller, of IMerrimack, Sauk County, contributes 
the following interesting paper concerning her father and several of his 


friends who assisted him in making old Columbia County habitable and 
pleasant : 

"James Cary Carr was born at Laurens, Otsego County, N. Y., Febru- 
ary 21, 1817, where he grew to manhood; working on the farm during 
the summer, attending the village school during the winters until he 
became able to teach. When he had secured enough means to pay his 
way through the academy at Cazeuovia, N. Y., he gave up farming. 
Later he entered a medical college, but soon gave that up and decided 
to take his chances in the fast developing West. 

' ' Coming to Wisconsin in 1842, he selected a farm on Fountain Prai- 
rie, one mile west of the present village of Fall River, Columbia County. 
On a little knoll near a spring he put up a small shanty, and also planted 
a few apple seeds that he had brought West in his pocket. This was 
his first home and the first orchard started on the prairie. 

First Birth and First De.\th 

"The following year Mr. Carr returned to New York, where he was 
married to ilary Ann Self, whom he brought to his new home in a cov- 
ered wagon, with oxen for a team. They then built a frame house, the 
first one in the vicinity and were soon joined by John (Scotch) Brown 
and John Quincy Adams, who being unmarried, boarded with them. 
Here March 29, 1845, was born the first white child on Fountain Prairie 
(now Hattie C, Shepard, of Winona, ilinn,). In the following August, 
Mrs. Carr died, the first death on the prairie, leaving ]\Ir. Carr with a 
five-months' old babe to care for. He hired Mrs. Uncle Tommy Swarth- 
oiit, who had settled first south of him, to care for the little one and told 
his friends they must look for a home elsewhere, as he must now batch 
it. But both begged him to let them share with him till they were mar- 
ried themselves, which he did. and afterward, being a justice of tlie peace, 
he performed the ceremony that united John Brown and Caroline Hughes 
in holy matrimonj'. 

Remarkable Friendship 

"The friendship between these three pioneers was so firmly cemented 
during these hours of trial, that death alone severed it. These three 
men were born inside of one year, and Mr. Carr, who died in Linden, 
Idaho, December 2, 1894, aged seventy-seven years, ten months and eleven 
days, preceded ]\Ir. Adams just three months and fifteen days, the latter 
dying March 17, 1895. 


Farming Under Difficulties 

"Mr. Can- was remarried to Mary Crocker of Binghampton, New 
York, the summer of 1846, and continued to reside on the farm. He 
walked from his home to Green Bay, the nearest land office at that time, 
to secure his deed, paying $1.25 per acre for 160 acres. At that time 
there were only three houses in Columbus. He brought besides the 
apple seeds in his pockets, five slips of Balm of Gilead trees in his trunk. 
These grew and from the buds was made a sajve which was extensively 
used by the neighbors for healing wounds as cuts, scratches, etc., and 
many were the slips taken from these trees, to various parts of the prai- 
rie. Milwaukee was their nearest market, and Mr. Carr often told of 
taking a load of grain there with an ox team, and it would not bring 
enough to buy a barrel of salt. 

An Opinionated Applicant 

"Before the days of county superintendent of schools, the school 
board of which Mr. Carr was chairman had to examine the applicants, 
grant certificates, etc., and I remember many amusing incidents. One 
young lady insisted that in giving the vowel sounds, c preceding o had 
the soft sound, and that the abbreviation Co. should be pronounced as 
So, and No. for number was pronounced No. Elinor Carr, a sister, was 
one of the first school teachers. 

Public Service of Carr and Adams 

"Mr. Carr was the first justice of peace in Fall River, and held that 
office consecutively until he resigned when he sold his farm and removed 
to- Columbia in 1863. He was also instrumental in organizing Columbia 
County, and was the first county clerk. He and Mr. Adams, with one 
horse and ox, laid out the county road. One would ride a while, then 
the other. They also located the county seat at Portage. It was through 
the instrumentality of Mr. Carr that Mr. Adams secured the position 
of county superintendent of schools, also that of trustee of the Insane 
Asylum, a position he held for thirty-six (36) consecutive years. 

Story He Told on Brother Sage 

"One of the many amusing anecdotes Mr. Carr always enjoyed relat- 
ing was in connection with Captain Sage, a neighbor. Mr. Sage was 
rather a devout person, and seldom did any work on Sunday. When he 


digging the cellar for his new house he was quite anxious to rush it 
along. One Sunday morning, ^Mr. Carr, as was often his custom, was 
walking around his fences, when near Mr. Sage's place (their lands 
joined), he heard a noise and carefully stepping near he saw the Cap- 
tain digging busily. He stepped behind a tree and in a sepulchral voice 
said, "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it Holy!' Captain Sage 
stopped, listened, looked around and seeing no one, got out of the cellar, 
carefully wiped his shovel, went to his house and laliored no more that 

"Much more might be written of those early days, but other more 
gifted pens can more fully do justice to those brave and hardy Pioneers 
who have done so much to make our noble state what it is today." 

Benj.\min Sage, the Victim 

Benjamin Sage was among the first half dozen to settle within the 
present limits of Fountain Prairie and, although not especially promi- 
nent in the public affairs of the town, was always considered one of its 
best citizens. At his death in August, 1871, the Columbus Democrat 
says: "Benjamin Sage died at his residence in Fountain Prairie on 
Tuesday last of apoplexy. He was sixty-seven years old and was among 
the pioneer settlers of Columbia County. Twenty-eight years ago this 
autumn he came to this countj- and selected his farm and futui-e home. 
There was only one family living in the present to^vnship of Fountain 
Prairie. It was necessary at that time to go to Green Bay to purchase, 
as the land ofiice was then situated there. This journey he made on 
foot. The intervening country was then inhabited by Indians only. 
Roads and hotels at that period were, of course, not among the con- 
veniences found by travelers. John Brown had selected an eighty ad- 
joining the prospective farm of the Captain. With a single exception, 
these claims were the first two made in the township. These two pioneers 
made the journey to Green Bay together. The friendship formed during 
that trip was as lasting as life. Either could have adopted as his own 
the words of David lamenting for Jonathan: 'Very pleasant hast thou 
been unto me ; thy love to me was wonderful, passing that of a woman. ' 
He has resided at the same location ever since. He was a good citizen, 
order-loving, public spirited and a democrat of the old school." 

Village op Fai,l River 

Fall River, the only village in' the Town of Fountain Prairie, 
is located on Crawfish River, a tributary of the Rock, and has the advan- 


tage of a good water power. It was incorporated as a village in 1903, 
and is a leading station on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad. 
The largest industries of the village are the Fall River Canning Com- 
pany and the Fall River Mills, the former being one of the largest plants 
of the kind in the country. The chief products of the mill, which is a 
three-story building on the north branch of the river near the east end 
of the village, are buckwheat and graham flour and coarse feed. Wheat 
flour is handled at wholesale. 

Fall River has also a creamery, a bank and a house which does a 
good .business in lumber and building materials, as well as several stores. 
Its school is graded and efficient, and the Methodists and Baptists have 
societies to meet the religious needs of the community. 

A. A. Brayton, First Settler 

Fall River was founded before the Town of Fountain Prairie, in 
which it is situated. A. A. Brayton is credited with its fatherhood. 
In 1837 he moved with his father's family to "Wisconsin, and in the 
following year settled at Aztalan, where he kept a small variety store. 

In 1846 Mr. Brayton purchased the southwest quarter of Section 26, 
Township 11, Range 12, in what is now the Town of Fountain Prairie. 
He drew up a plan of the village, proceeded to erect a sawmill and 
opened a store. The sawmill he continued to operate for six years, and 
in 1850 erected a large gristmill. Not long after Mr. Brayton disposed 
of his interest in the latter — which was the origin of the Fall River 
Mills, before mentioned. 


One of the first things attended to by Mr. Brayton was to petition 
the Government to establish a postoffice at this point, which was done 
early in 1847. The founder of the village had no competitor for the 

The Village Schools 

In 1850 a schoolhouse was built in the village, the district being 
designated as No. 1. By 1856 the house was found to be too small to 
accommodate the number of pupils in the district, so another was added 
in that year. Other improvements in both accommodations and edu- 
cational system have since been made, so that the Union School of the 
present Fall River meets with every reasonable requirement. 


To the original plat of FaU River, made by Mr. Brayton in 1846, 
Eli Grout made a small addition. On the completion of the Chicago, 
Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad in 1864, S. L. Batchelder made a second 
addition in the viciuity of the depot. Previous to 1880 many streets 
and blocks of land had been vacated, reducing materially the original plat. 

Methodist and Baptist Churches 

The Methodists and Baptists have societies at Fall River. The former 
organized as early as 1844, the locality at that time being connected 
with the old Aztalan circuit. It was almost entirely an organization 
of Smiths — Clark (at whose log house the meeting was held), Martha, 
Sarah and Rev. E. J. Smith — and Mrs. Aaron E. Houghton. A log 
schoolhouse was erected soon after, and the meetings transferred to it. 
As the population of the village increased, the society was moved thither. 
In 1855 a church edifice was erected for the use of the Methodists, and 
in 1875 was rebuilt and enlarged. 

In 1847 a Baptist society was formed at FaU River, and in March, 
1867, became legally organized as "The First Regular Baptist Church 
and Society. ' ' A church edifice was erected in 1869. The present society 
is in charge of Rev. Thomas W. Gales, who also serves the Baptists of 
Rio and Otsego. 

Early Times in Village and Town 

In reviewing the old times of the village and the town, an early 
settler says: "In 1845 A. A. Braj-ton entered the land for the mill- 
site and the village of Fall River, where he built a sawmill in 1846 
which furnished all the sawed lumber that was used in the construction 
of hundreds of log houses in this region. White oak boards were con- 
sidered good finishing lumber in 1846. Brayton opened the first store 
in to^^Ti in the fall of 1846, using a slab shanty for his store. This year 
(1846) was known to the early settlers as